One of the most famous animals in the world has died suddenly at the age of 4. Abandoned by his mother, Knut was raised by the zookeepers at the Berlin Zoo and helped double attendance in a few short years. Between 600 and 700 people were watching his compound when the bear suddenly had a spasm and died.
“It was a completely normal day: He was with the female bears before, who had just been shut away,” bear keeper Heiner Kloes said. “Then, Knut strolled around the enclosure, went into the water, had a short spasm and died.”
After first appearing in 2007, Knut led to a series of merchandise including plush toys, movies and lots more. Some estimate that Knut merchandise helps bring in hundreds of thousands of euros annually. His fans assembled outside his enclosure to mourn the death. Zoo officials will conduct a post-mortem on Monday.