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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Knut And Human Touch...

Hand-reared celebrity bear Knut should leave Berlin Zoo, says one of his keepers -- he's had so much contact with humans that he doesn't realize he's a polar bear. The zoo star has been howling plaintively because his keepers are no longer allowed to play with him.

"According to Röbke, Knut has something of an identity crisis. "He doesn't know that he's a polar bear," he said. "As long as he's with us, he will always regard Thomas Dörflein as his father."



Knut now howls plaintively whenever he picks up Dörflein's scent, and has become so used to the attention of people that he also cries when no one is standing in front of his enclosure watching him.

When the zoo had to close for a day this winter because all the paths were iced over, Knut howled for hours until a keeper took pity on him and stood in front of his enclosure.

"Knut needs an audience. That has to change," Röbke told Bild.

Last Friday, only a handful of visitors were there to watch the bear, who now weighs 140 kilos, lie listlessly on a mound of sand. It was a far cry from 12 months ago, when the snow-white ball of fur with button eyes was first presented to an adoring public. Then, thousands of visitors queued up to watch him frolic with Dörflein."

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Posted by Ajay :: 6:05 PM :: 0 comments

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