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The Knext Knut? New German Polar Cub Star
Brian A Kennedy | January 11, 2008 at 09:44 amby
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BERLIN (AFP) - The German media on Thursday predicted a bright future for a female polar bear cub separated from its disturbed mother at a zoo in Nuremburg.
The country's top-selling Bild newspaper suggested the four-week old cub, which is yet to be named, would make a perfect mate for Knut, the polar cub at Berlin's zoo who became a worldwide celebrity last year after he was rejected by his mother.
"Will she one day be Mrs Knut?" Bild asked in a front-page headline above a photograph of the new cub being carried in the jaws of her mother, Vera, before they parted ways.
The paper suggested that despite the age difference -- Knut celebrated his first birthday in December -- the bears' shared experience in early life would make them ideal partners.
The zoo has released pictures of the two-kilogramme (four-pound) cub being bottle-fed by a zookeeper and cuddling up to a polar bear soft toy on a blanket under an infra-red lamp.
The images are reminiscent of Knut, who went on to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and could become a Hollywood star if ongoing negotiations with a studio are successful.
Keepers in Nuremberg intervened after another polar bear at the zoo ate both of her newborn cubs this week. Vera began showing disturbed behaviour after the bear enclosure became surrounded by TV crews.
The zoo has defended itself against accusations that it should have acted quicker to save the cubs' lives.
Zoo director Dag Encke said female polar bears were always extremely sensitive in the six to eight weeks after giving birth, but the polar bear who eventually ate the cubs had only shown signs of distress shortly beforehand.
"There was no sign that Vilma was going to kill her babies until the final hours before she ate them," Encke said.
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