December 2, 2008

Knut the polar bear to leave Berlin

Knut the polar bear, possibly the most famous Berliner of recent years, is likely to eventually be moved out of the German capital.

The bear was born in the Berlin Zoo two years ago this Friday. But officials say keeping Knut as he grows older and larger would involve spending millions of euros on adequate quarters that would also include a mate, The Independent reported.

He should go sooner rather than later, Heiner Klos, chief bear keeper, said. Knut must finally find a new home.

Knut is expected to move to another zoo by 2010.

The zoo held a party last year for Knut's first birthday. This year, no official celebration is planned, but some of his fans are discussing holding their own party across from the zoo.

At least 21,000 people have signed petitions to keep him in Berlin.

Knut's picture has appeared on T-shirts and the cover of Vanity Fair. Experts say Knut paraphernalia has brought in more than $10 million.

Berlin is about to lose one of its best ambassadors, said Christian Tanzler, of the tourist board. For our visitors from abroad it will mean the loss of one of the city's true mascots.