Monday, December 22, 2008
What Happens When Your Looks Go
BERLIN(AP) A man jumped into the Berlin zoo enclosure of famed polar bear Knut on Monday, but officials were able to keep the animal away from the intruder by distracting him with a leg of beef, police said. The 37-year-old man jumped over a fence into a water-filled ditch at the edge of the bear's enclosure Monday morning, police said in a statement.
Zoo keepers, who had just let Knut into his outdoor enclosure, were able to lure the bear back into his cage by producing a leg of beef.
Police said the man, a German, was less cooperative, initially ignoring instructions to leave the enclosure. He was led away unharmed but, although he was soaked and cold, he refused to undergo a medical checkup.
Police said that, before being let go, the man told them that he felt lonely and the bear appeared lonely, too.
Knut, now age 2, was hand-raised after his mother rejected him at birth. He rose to stardom early last year as a cute white ball of fluff, but has since grown rapidly into a hulking 440-pound (200-kilogram) predator.
It has been reported, recently, that Knut, although he raised more than $5 million Euros for the world famous Berlin Zoo last year, was losing his popularity because he..well...looks like a full grown bear. Knut's penchant for rolling in fresh mud hasn't helped because zoo goers are exptecting to see a white bear.
A spokesperson for the German National Union of Socialist Bears (GNUSB)called for an investigation of the Zoo and its use of enslaved animals for entertainment and profit, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Kurt Zugerschultz, a zookeeper at the Berlin facility for 92 years, was unable to recall what he wanted to say. Knut himself, was unavalible to comment according to his publicist, Olga Shearingrass. "Knut is bigger than the Berlin Zoo, bigger than Berlin, and bigger than Weinersnitzel.