Berlin May Lose Knut to Rival

Polar bear under contract with different German zoo
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 11:50 AM CST
Zookeeper Thomas Doerflein kisses Knut during the polar bear cub's first public appearance at the Zoo of Berlin on March 23, 2007,   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
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(Newser) – The world's favorite polar bear may be bidding auf wiedersehen to the Berlin Zoo. Cuddly tourist attraction Knut actually belongs to the north German zoo his father came from, and a move is expected in the first half of 2009. "We entered into a contract which stated that the first surviving cub is owned by Neumuenster Zoo," said the Berlin Zoo's director. But Berlin officials want to keep Knut—and the extra $6.3 million he pulled in last year, the BBC reports.

"Berlin must not give Knut away—it would be like losing a family friend," a tourism official said.