Remember Knut (pronounced ka-noot…rhymes with “the flute”)? He was that adorable little polar bear that eventually ended up sporting a handsome grin with Leonardo Dicaprio on the cover of Vanity Fair. Well it looks like Knut’s found himself smack dab in the middle of controversy. You know how those polar bears can be.
It’s been reported that Bernhard Blaszkiewitz (try saying that five times fast), the Berlin Zoo director who turned Knut into an international celebrity, might be forced to resign. No he wasn’t doing the naughty with the bear!! Bernhard is being accused of having bred and sold animals for slaughter.
The accusation comes from a Green Party politician who says that Bernhard cross-bred panthers with leopards (pleopards?) and that nine tigers and jaguars were sold to China and used in supplements to help cure impotence. Furthermore, they claim Bernhard sold a pygmy hippopotamus and a family of Asiatic black bears for slaughter in two separate deals conducted in the early 1990s.
Bernhard strongly denies these charges, dismissing them as a “mixture of misunderstanding and nonsense.”
The Berlin Zoo isn’t new to media attention — having caused much controversy in 2006 when they allowed Knut to be reared by a zookeeper after his mother rejected him. The zoo has since earned millions of euros as a result of a huge increase in visitors and will earn even more if a Hollywood film inspired by the bear’s exploits is made.
So will the man who found Knut get the boot? Only time will tell. Stay close Ecorazzi readers…we’ll update you as we know more!