Thomas Doerflein, the zookeeper who raised Knut the polar bear, was found dead in his Berlin apartment on Monday. He was 44 years old.
According to the Boston Herald, Deerflies “was dead when authorities arrived at the apartment and that they had no information on the cause of death.”
Doerflein lived with his girlfriend and her young son, and had two grown children of his own.
After hand-rearing Knut, Doerflein was awarded a medal of merit for his service to Berlin. He had worked for the Berlin Zoo for more than 25 years.
A baby polar bear who rocketed to fame before he was even one year old may be honoured with his own animated feature.
People magazine reports that The Animation Picture Company has offered the Berlin Zoo $5 million for the rights to the story of Knut – the polar bear cub found on the brink of death after he was rejected by his mother and nursed back to health by his gentle human caretaker.
Producer Ash R. Shah thinks that Knut would capture the hearts of moviegoers because, “With his friendly character, he’s serves as an ambassador for the Earth’s problems ? climate change and the melting polar ice caps. A movie about Knut would affect people all over the world.”
Shah also mentioned he would like to cast Suri Cruise as the voice of Knut, as the babe has famously visited the bear with parents Tom and Katie.