'Knut the Polar Bear' dies at Berlin zoo

In this March 23, 2007 file photo, Knut, the polar bear cub, has its first public appearance with his keeper in the Berlin zoo. Berlin zoo official says famous polar bear Knut died on his compound. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

March 20, 2011 5:20:38 AM PDT
Fans of polar bear Knut are laying flowers at Berlin zoo to mourn the sudden death of the bear who as a cub became a household name.

The four-year-old bear died suddenly in his enclosure on Saturday afternoon. He waded into the water before having a short spasm and then dying in front of hundreds of zoo visitors.

Rejected by his mother at birth on December 5, 2006, along with his twin brother, who only survived a couple of days, Knut first attracted attention when his main caregiver camped out at the zoo to give the button-eyed cub his bottle every two hours.

Fan clubs soon sprung up across the globe, including in Japan, the United States and Germany.