Knut, the lovable little polar bear who four years ago became an emissary in the effort to protect wildlife, has died.
Medical officials differ on the cause of the 4-year-old bear’s death, but it is believed he had a brain infection or perhaps suffered from epilepsy.
The bear, dubbed “Cute Knut,” won the hearts of millions after he was born Dec. 4, 2006, at the Berlin Zoological Garden in Germany.
Knut’s plight struck a chord with his fans because he survived even though his mother rejected him and his twin brother at birth. The other cub did not survive.
But zookeepers were determined to help him survive. For the first few weeks of his short life, the cub was fed by hand. One person even slept in Knut’s enclosure to feed him every two hours during his infancy.
Knut became an overnight sensation. The lovable white ball of fur gained worldwide notoriety and became a mass media phenomenon — the subject of newspaper and magazine stories and books. The cub’s every outdoor exploration was caught on his own podcast and television show.
The cub appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Because of his popularity, the bear is credited with a significant increase in the zoo’s revenue. The zoo’s attendance figures increased by 30 percent.
Knut’s death on March 19 marks the end of his story of survival and brings to mind the state of the species in the wild. Global warming has caused the sharp decline of the snow and sea ice coverage in the Arctic, affecting polar bears and other animals that depend on the ice for habitat and hunting.
In Knut’s honor and in time for Earth Day on April 22, I made a polar bear out of a clay pot to remind you that the survival of all animals is important.
Supplies you will need:
Small clay pot.
White acrylic paint and brush.
Plastic foam ball.
Felt scraps for cap and scarf.
White cardboard or cardstock.
White tacky glue.
Steps to take:
Paint the pot and foam ball white and set aside to dry.
Draw facial features on the foam ball with a black marker.
Turn the pot upside down and glue on the ball.
Draw feet, arms and ears (use photo for details) onto white cardstock and cut out. Use marker to draw on claws. Glue to the pot.
Use felt scraps to make a cap and scarf. Make a circle with a slice from the edge to the center and glue it together at the sides. Glue a white pompom on top.
Cut a narrow rectangle with fringe cut in the ends for a scarf.
Glue the ears to the hat and glue the hat and scarf to the polar bear.