Custody battle looms over Knut the polar bear
A small provincial zoo wants a share of the earnings.
Berlin -- A court custody battle over Knut the polar bear is looming in Germany, with a small provincial zoo saying it wants a share of the animal star's million-dollar earnings.
The zoo in Neumuenster, north of Hamburg, owns Lars, the adult male that covered Knut's dam Tosca.
Zoo chief Peter Druewa said a 1999 contract specified that the first of every two litters belonged to Neumuenster. He said the society, which runs his small zoo would vote March 17 on whether to file suit against Berlin Zoo.
Knut won world fame after being hand-reared. The white cub frisked daily with a keeper for 108 days before becoming too big and dangerous to play with humans.
Berlin Zoo chief Bernhard Blaszkiewitz declined comment on the claim.
The zoo disclosed Wednesday that Knut franchising had earned it 750,000 euros (1.1 million dollars) last year and the bear had single-handedly increased its gate takings by 4.2 million euros.
DPA with Expatica