BERLIN - Germany’s youngest celebrity, Knut the polar bear cub, made his much-anticipated public debut at Berlin Zoo on Friday and appeared unfazed by the media scrum surrounding his first excursion.
“There is always something special about bringing up a baby polar bear on a bottle and with Knut, the added fear that he might die bolstered solidarity for the bear,” Kuehne said.
Cameramen from Japan, the United States, Brazil and Finland jostled on ladders to take the best pictures. German television channels covered Knut’s first public steps live and some newspaper journalists had to post live podcasts of the occasion.
Knut has also drawn attention to the plight of polar bears as worries grow that global warming is contributing to the melting of their habitat.
German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel has adopted Knut and used his appearance to further the debate on climate change.
“Knut is in safe hands here but worldwide polar bears are in danger and if Knut can help the cause, then that is a good thing,” said the minister as he accompanied Knut on his walk and tickled his chin for the cameras.