Polar Bears have long been one of my most favourite animals. Perhaps it has something to do with being given a Polar Bear soft toy from family friends on the day I was born (which I still have). I think they are remarkable. Huge, dangerous and somewhat cuddly. On Friday my class and I were discussing the amazing animal kingdom and we researched some amazing facts about them. One of the facts was that Polar Bears have black skin. Awesome.
But this post is so sad.
Yesterday (Saturday, 19th March 2011) a beautiful 4-year old polar bear, Knut (pronounced K-Nu), died at the Berlin Zoo. Some news reports say that Knut waded into the water in his enclosure before having a short spasm and then dying in front of hundreds of zoo visitors. Other reports say that he was sitting on a rock and his leg started to shake. He then got up and walked around in circles, and fell into the water. His body was found floating in the water. Either way – what a shock!
Polar Bears have a life expectancy between 15 and 30 years (those in captivity can live even longer), so they have to do some tests to see what caused his death at such a young age.
Knut, an International star, was hand-raised by zookeeper Thomas Dorflein (who died of a heart attack in 2008) when his mother rejected him at birth.