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Tiny Polar bear steals attention

Mar 25, 2007 10:32 PM IST India India

Berlin: Visitors and camera crews from around the world are crowding to Berlin's zoo to watch the debut of a little white furry star. Polar bear Knut is a small, white bundle of joy. The crowd at the Berlin Zoo went wild as Knut the polar bear cub gave his keeper a kiss. The Berlin Zoo saved Knut after his mother rejected him at birth. Hand-reared by his keeper, Thomas Doerflein, who slept in his cage each night and sang him Elvis songs at bedtime, the 110 days old Knut, weighing nine kilos, is now ready to face his fans. “He's like a small teddy bear,” said a little girl. Earlier this week Knut's plight made the headlines when an animal rights campaigner was quoted in the German Press as saying that Knut should not have been kept alive and should be put to sleep. Berliners rallied to Knut's defence and the international press clamoured for a chance to see him. Knut has his own video podcast, and the Berlin Zoo has big plans for him. “Knut should be a symbol for the real problems we have with global warming and with the destroying of the habitats especially of the Northern parts of our earth,” said Berlin Zoo Director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz. For Knut, the North Pole's a million miles away. He’s basking in the attention and taking fame in his stride.