US News Berlin mourns sudden death of month-old polar bear cub

06:50  03 january  2018
06:50  03 january  2018 Source:   AFP

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Tuesday's news was the second polar bear cub death within a year for the Tierpark, which lost four- month - old Fritz to hepatitis in March last year. Berliners had reacted enthusiastically to the arrival of Fritz, the first cub born in the former East Berlin zoo in 22 years.

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This handout file photo released on December 8, 2017 by Tierpark, the Berlin zoo, shows polar bear mother Tonja attending to her newborn cub shortly after its birth in their enclosure. The zoo has announced that the cub has died after just 26 days. © Provided by AFP This handout file photo released on December 8, 2017 by Tierpark, the Berlin zoo, shows polar bear mother Tonja attending to her newborn cub shortly after its birth in their enclosure. The zoo has announced that the cub has died after just 26 days. A polar bear cub born in a Berlin zoo has died after just 26 days, officials said Tuesday, the second such bereavement for the German capital in a year.

"We know that mortality among cubs is very high in the first weeks, but we are still depressed and it's making us sad," said Florian Sicks, polar bear keeper at the Tierpark in the east of the city.

Eight-year-old mother Tonja had taken "exemplary" care of her baby, which was still healthy and nursing on New Year's Day, the zoo said in its statement.

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PHOTO: REUTERS. BERLIN : A polar bear cub born in a Berlin zoo has died after just 26 days, officials said Tuesday, the second such bereavement for Tuesday’s news was the second polar bear cub death within a year for the Tierpark, which lost four- month - old Fritz to hepatitis in March last year.

Berlin 's Tierpark Zoo has said that the baby polar bear born just last month had died of unknown causes. Another cub from the same mother had died earlier last year. Mourning baby polar bear Fritz. dm/tj (dpa, AP).

But the cub -- which had not yet been given a name -- appeared lifeless when staff checked a surveillance camera in the bears' enclosure on Tuesday morning.

Scientists at Berlin's Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) will carry out an autopsy on the baby bear to determine the cause of death.

Tuesday's news was the second polar bear cub death within a year for the Tierpark, which lost four-month-old Fritz to hepatitis in March last year.

Berliners had reacted enthusiastically to the arrival of Fritz, the first cub born in the former East Berlin zoo in 22 years.

Many hoped he would take the place in Germans' hearts once occupied by Knut, the universally adored polar bear born in 2006 and raised by west Berlin zookeepers after being rejected by his mother.

Knut's worldwide fame brought in millions of euros from visits and merchandising before his untimely death in 2011.

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