Knut, the famous polar bear reared by a zookeeper as a baby after his mother rejected him, died days ago and Berlin zoo officials have issued a statement citing brain damage as the likely cause.
According to autopsy results conducted by Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Game Animal Research, Knut suffered, “significant changes to the brain, which could be seen as the reason for the sudden death.” No other organ damage was visible, but more tests are being done.
The video shows the bear walking in circles before falling into the water and drowning.
The zoo has decided to stuff Knut and mount him on a wall at its facility.
Physical brain damage may have ultimately taken Knut out, but psychological stress made his life miserable while alive. Knut was observed performing repetitive motions like pacing, something researchers say is common because, in a typical zoo space, bears are given only one-millionth the amount of room to move they would normally have in the wild. In the wild, polar bears may roam up to 31,000 square feet.
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