Death threats for Berlin polar bear cub Knut

19th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Security was tightened at Berlin Zoo on Thursday after a threat to kill its hugely popular polar bear cub, Knut. "Knut is dead! Thursday noon," read a note sent to the zoo on Wednesday afternoon after the fluffy white animal finished the second of his two daily public appearances. Police said they were not looking for anyone specific in connection with the threat, which they said was written in a confused manner, apparently on a computer. "If the threat was serious, then we wo

19 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Security was tightened at Berlin Zoo on Thursday after a threat to kill its hugely popular polar bear cub, Knut.

"Knut is dead! Thursday noon," read a note sent to the zoo on Wednesday afternoon after the fluffy white animal finished the second of his two daily public appearances.

Police said they were not looking for anyone specific in connection with the threat, which they said was written in a confused manner, apparently on a computer.

"If the threat was serious, then we would take action," a police spokesman said.

The zoo said it had increased security around Knut's enclosure, but visitors would still be able to see him as usual. The four-month- old cub has been pulling in record crowds since he made his debut in public on March 23.

A zoo official declined to comment on a report in the mass- circulation Bild newspaper that the number of security guards protecting Knut had been increased from five to 15.

Bild said that after the threat was received, the zoo alerted police, who sent two squad cars to the scene as officers took up position outside the animal's cage.

A plainclothes policeman with a walkie-talkie radio even hid behind a large rock overlooking Knut's enclosure, the newspaper said.

Knut was in the news earlier this week when his public appearance on Monday was abruptly cancelled after 20 minutes. Officials said later he had been suffering from teething pains.

Knut, dubbed Germany's most famous orphan, was bottle-fed by his keeper, Thomas Doerflein, after his mother Tosca abandoned her twins shortly after their birth in December. The other cub died after four days.

The cub hit the headlines after animal-rights campaigners claimed he should have been allowed to die because he would become too dependent on humans.

DPA

Subject: German news

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