German polar bear Knut turns one year old

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Polar bear Knut in October when he was 10 months.
Video: Aconcagua.

Knut, Germany's famous polar bear, turned one at the Berlin Zoo yesterday. For the celebration he had a healthy cake with fruits and vegetables, fish and rice on lettuce topped with a candle-shaped rolling pin.

The director of the zoo, Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, said: "I wish Knut that he will get as old as polar bears are supposed to get. So minimum 30 to 40 years, and that he finds a partner." The way he looks and because he comes from Berlin, he will reproduce well, Blaszkiewitz said. Along with this, he referred to the high birth rate in Berlin.

When Knut was born a year ago, he was rejected by his mother Tosca. Keeper Thomas Dörflein took a parental role and reared Knut by hand. After a few months, Knut grew big and Thomas Dörflein could no longer play with him because he received bad bruises. At birth, Knut weighed 1.8 pounds, today, he weighs 220 pounds. Adult male polar bears can weigh up to 800 pounds.

Knut was the first polar bear born at the Berlin Zoo in 30 years. Millions of people came to see him from all over the world and the event which was dubbed "Knutmania" spawned a CD, a book and hour-long queues at the zoo.


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