photo via Udo Schröter, flickr, CC
Knut, the world famous polar bear that was born and raised in captivity, has suddenly died. The cause of death is unknown, but a post mortem will be done on Monday to try to find our why Knut unexpectedly died Saturday at the Berlin Zoo in front of an estimated 600 visitors. if you're unfamiliar with Knut, here's his story. He was born in captivity in 2006 and raised by humans after his mother rejected him. About 4 months later Knut was debuted to the public and people went gaga. "Knutmania" followed, with Knut merchandise flying off the shelves. An image of Knut even landed on a 2007 Vanity Fair cover with actor Leonardo DiCaprio shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
In 2008, the zoo and Knut's famous keeper, Heiner Kloes, tried to find a new home for the polar bear, citing the need for more room. But Knut stayed and now he is gone after turning 4 in December.