Germany goes wild for cub's first birthdayThursday, December 6 2007
BERLIN: Children's street parties, live TV specials and a gourmet cake for the celebrity himself.
The first birthday of a polar bear who captured the hearts of millions around the world after it he almost died at birth was marked in Berlin yesterday with the pomp and gusto normally reserved for a World Cup win.
Knut, whose weight has increased from 810 grams to a hefty 110 kilograms, is estimated to be the biggest cash-grossing animal of all time. Nicknamed the "milliobear", he has attracted about 2.5 million visitors, boosting the profits of the Berlin Zoo by up to $16.5 million. His logo has been used for everything from cuddly toys to the German Environment Minister's campaign against global warming.
Knut became a celebrity overnight after reports about how his mother, Tosca, a traumatised circus bear, rejected him at birth.