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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nothing much interesting about Serenity’s travels #8

Dear All,

X-mas and laziness have severely interfered with my sightseeing ambitions.
But, I was not going to leave the city without paying a visit to Berlin’s greatest celebrity: Knut I’d be quite interested to know whether you had heard about Knut before now, so let’s take a poll; please do let me know in a comment to this entry. Going by the media reports here, there is not a person left on this planet who does not know Knut and his story. And wasn’t he just cute and cuter?! :D ...or maybe you remember the controversy that brought attention to Knut in the first place, where animal rights activists demanded he be put down, arguing that rearing of a polar bear by humans is against nature...?
I myself was happy to see Knut as well as spending a couple of hours watching TV programmes about his upbringing. If I just infected you with
Knutmania, the Berlin public TV station has a whole website about Knut; all in German, but with dozens of podcast videos that are well worth watching. After all, Knut does not speak German either. What a shame that Thomas Doerflein, Knut’s adopted Mama/Papa, died of a heart attack at the age of 44 in September this year. Note the photo of Knut and him in the foreground. They were quite the team.
I took about ten dozen pics of Knut (no, not an exaggeration... what can I say, I only recently acquired a digital camera and the batteries were fully loaded...). Here is a more reasonable selection. As you can see, Knut has grown up a bit; he weighs in at about 450 pounds now.
I also included a picture of the brown bear next door to Knut, who looked a bit puzzled, possibly wondering why he received so much less attention compared to his paler relative. After all he and his kind have been Berlin’s symbol in its coat of arms since 1280 AD.
Of course, Knutmania can go a bit too far, as shown by this recent news item about a dude who jumped into Knut’s habitat because he thought thebear looked lonely. I am quite ok to leave it at taking home my very own Knut imitation.
Hope you are all well!

P.S. Gonna check for snow now, not holding my breath. S.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to precious Knut I have become an avid bear fan. I think the RBB blog can be translated into the English and the others also can: Knutitours, Christina's Crazy Cute Knut Blog, etc. He is still incredibly cute and very intelligent as are all bears. I am not business minded nor ambitious so I put my art on WEBSHOTS (karenvstefanini)for fundraising for bears and environmental groups in Knut's honor. I am full blooded Germanic, my maiden name means bird in German, so that could be what has predisposed me to adoring bears. Many say my stipples remind them of German master's, Albrecht Durer's work, although I am a minor dabbler by comparison.
Submitted by: Karen V. Stefanini, From My Beautiful Back Bay, Boston, MA

Skal said...

Hi SPT... I hadn't heard about Knut....and I should have, given that Nordic name of his! (more snow here overnight!)

Fran said...

Knut-mania is a lovely thing, I think. So pshaw to the folks who thought he should be put down!

But I have to say, that brown bear is pretty darned gorgeous.

piglet said...

I followed Knut's story avidly, but I'm a bit obsessed with bears, so I'm not sure if I'm the average American in this regard. They are the cutest, most dangerous animal. An irresistible combination.

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High school diploma online said...

use to have my own mascot with this animal:)