Get the Fishcakes Ready: Berlin Zoo Planning Birthday Party for Cute Knut
Berlin Zoo says it will be throwing a party to celebrate Knut's first birthday on December 5, but its exact plans remain shrouded in secrecy. It's a safe bet that he'll be getting extra rations of his favorite croissants though.
There's a party going down at Berlin Zoo on December 5 to celebrate the first birthday of the city's most feted resident, Knut the celebrity polar bear cub. Hand-reared since he was a newborn, he has become a friendly 100-kilo brute who still enjoys wrestling with his keepers.
"We do have plans but we're not revealing them just yet," the zoo's bear expert, Heiner Klös, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "We'll be making a statement about it in 14 days or so."
Knut is now so big that he doesn't fit on any scales but his vet Andreas Schüle estimates he weighs around 100 kilograms.
Even though he is rapidly developing into a full-sized predator and has a full set of sharp teeth, Knut remains entertainingly playful and still has a special bond with keeper Thomas Dörflein, whose round-the-clock-care helped the cub survive after he was rejected by his mother.
"Dörflein remains his favorite person. But he's getting increasingly independent," Schüle told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "He's no longer so interested in playing with rubber ducks but he does enjoy having a wrestle with his keepers in the mornings before the zoo opens."
Schüle said Knut, who has been pictured in Berlin newspapers enjoying rolling around in autumn leaves and getting dirty in the sand of his spacious enclosure, was making use of his new-found ability to stand on his two hind legs.
"He does that and sniffs the air to make out the various scents, especially when his keepers pass the enclosure," said Schüle.
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