Preliminary Autopsy Results: Knut May Have Died of Brain Disease
The tragic death of Knut, the world-famous polar bear, may have been caused by brain problems, the Berlin Zoo said on Tuesday following the release of preliminary findings of his autopsy. The zoo plans to erect a memorial in his honor.
The sudden death of Knut, the celebrity polar bear, may have been caused by a brain disease, the Berlin Zoo said on Tuesday following an autopsy.
Knut had collapsed on Saturday afternoon after suffering what eyewitnesses said apperared to be an epileptic fit. He fell off a rock into the moat surrounding his enclosure and drowned before zookeepers could reach him. Hundreds of visitors witnessed the tragic spectacle.
The polar bear was hand-reared at the Berlin Zoo after his mother rejected him shortly after his birth on Dec. 5, 2006. Fans around the world are mourning his death.
Zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz has denied accusations by animal welfare organizations that Knut died of stress caused by being forced to share his enclosure with three other polar bears. Knut fans say he was often bullied by the older females, including his mother Tosca.
Monument to Knut
Berlin Zoo will erect a monument in Knut's honor, said Thomas Ziolko, the chairman of the Friends of the Berlin Zoo. "Knut will live on in the hearts of many visitors, but it's important to create a memorial for coming generations to preserve the memory of this unique animal personality," he said.
The sculpture will be financed through donations. Blaszkiewitz said on Tuesday that the sculpture might depict Knut in his heyday -- as the polar bear cub who enchanted so many people. Knut may also be stuffed and put on display in a Berlin museum.
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2011
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH