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Knut, beloved polar bear, has a run-in with a fan

December 23, 2008 |  6:08 pm

Polar bear Knut discovers his birthday

Everyone's favorite adorable baby polar bear, Knut, is not quite the adorable baby he once was (he's pictured here celebrating his second birthday and now tops the scales at a whopping 440 pounds). 

This has undoubtedly been a strange year for the world's most famous bear -- his trainer, Thomas Doerflein, died suddenly in September (Knut has spent his days alone in his enclosure since then).  Reports in March labeled him a "publicity-addicted psycho."  And it looks like he'll be booted out of the Berlin Zoo for lack of space next year.

And that's not all!  Yesterday a 37-year-old zoo-goer leaped into Knut's enclosure, forcing zookeepers to  use a leg of beef to lure the bear back into his cage so the man could be safely removed.  Reuters reports:

"The man said that he thought the polar bear was sad and lonely, and that he wanted to keep him company," said Berlin police spokeswoman Miriam Tauchmann. "He was very lucky that nothing serious happened with such an act of foolishness."

The man refused a medical checkup but appeared unharmed, although he was soaking wet from landing in the water-filled ditch surrounding Knut's enclosure.

The zoo has pressed charges for trespassing, says Reuters.

Apparently Hollywood starlets aren't the only ones who battle bad publicity and crazed fans.

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Michael Gottschalk/AFP/Getty Images

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