Barbara Sax / AFP – Getty Images file Knut walking through his enclosure at the Zoologischer Garten zoo in Berlin on June 17, 2010.
BERLIN — Berlin’s beloved polar bear Knut, who rose to stardom when he was hand-raised by zoo keepers after being rejected by his mother at birth, died on Saturday, a zoo official said.
The world-famous bear died alone in his compound, bear keeper Heiner Kloes told The Associated Press.
“He was by himself in his compound, he was in the water, and then he was dead,” said Kloes. “He was not sick, we don’t know why he died.”
A post mortem will be conducted on Monday to try pinpoint his cause of death, he said.
Between 600 and 700 people were at Knut’s compound and saw the four-year-old bear die, German news agency DAPD reported.
Marcus Brandt / AFP/Getty Images
Knut playing with a blanket at his enclosure of the Berlin zoo, March 28, 2007.