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article imageWorld famous polar bear lives in misery now, attacked by mates

By Laura Trowbridge     Oct 26, 2010 in World
Berlin - Knut, the polar bear born in the Berlin Zoo in December 2006, is having a tough time now after enjoying several years as a beloved furry celebrity. The female bears he now shares a home with do not find him appealing.
Knut was born four years ago at the Berlin Zoo to mother polar bear Tosca, a former circus performer, who promptly rejected both of her newborn cubs. Knut's brother died, but Knut was successfully raised by zookeepers and became "the first polar bear cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years," according to Wikipedia.
A few months after Knut's birth, a controversy over whether he should have been left to die when his mother rejected him and if it would be better to euthanize him rather than let him live any longer, sparked outrage and protests at the zoo and around the world.
Thomas Dörflein plays with Knut at 5 months of age
Thomas Dörflein plays with Knut at 5 months of age
Knut shot to fame with worldwide media reporting on him, and had commercial success with toys, books, DVD's, candy, postage stamps, songs and his own animated movie. The Berlin Zoo made a great deal of money from him and enjoyed a 30 percent increase in zoo visitors during Knut's first year.
For the past few weeks, Knut has been living with three older females, one of which is his mother who rejected him at birth. Zoo officials were hoping Knut would successfully mate with one of the females, but so far he has been the victim of violent abuse by the trio, reported Telegraph.
"Knut, the public's favourite, has become a heap of misery," said Germany's mass-selling daily Bild. "Instead of enjoying himself with the three ladies, he cowers fearfully in a corner," added the more staid Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
In a video from CBS, the poor young polar bear is seen being viciously attacked and pushed into the water by one of the older female bears.
Knut's keeper Heiner Kloes said the video captured "only two minutes in the life of a bear."
"It was a small altercation that is completely normal among bears," Kloes said.
"For the time being, Knut is not yet an adult male and doesn't yet know how to get respect like his father did. But day by day, he is imposing himself and with time, this type of problem will go away."
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