Brain problems led to Knut's death
Tuesday 22 March 2011
Brain problems apparently caused the shockingly early death of Knut, Germany's four-year-old celebrity polar bear, the Berlin Zoo said Tuesday.
Initial findings from a necropsy performed on Monday by an institute in the German capital showed "significant changes to the brain, which can be viewed as a reason for the polar bear's sudden death," the zoo said in a statement.
The zoo didn't elaborate on the changes to the animal's brain, and officials could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Pathologists found no changes to any other organs, the zoo said, adding that it will take several days to produce a final result. Further planned tests include bacteriological and histological, or tissue, examinations.
Knut died on Saturday afternoon in front of visitors at the zoo, turning around several times and then falling into the water in his enclosure. Polar bears usually live 15 to 20 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
Knut, who was born in December 2006 at the Berlin zoo, rose to celebrity status as an irresistibly cute, fluffy cub.
Knut was rejected by his mother at birth — along with his twin brother, who only survived a couple of days. He attracted attention when his main caregiver, Thomas Doerflein, camped out at the zoo to give the button-eyed cub his bottle every two hours.
The bear went on to appear on magazine covers, in a film and on mountains of merchandise.
Doerflein, the zookeeper who raised him, died in 2008 of a heart attack.
The zoo now wants to have Knut stuffed and put on display at Berlin's Museum of Natural History, the German news agency DAPD reported.
It quoted a zoo spokeswoman as saying that the decision was made because Knut was a much-loved animal and officials wanted to make him available to science.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...