Lonely man jumps into polar bear's cage in Berlin

By: AP
By: AP
BERLIN (AP) -- A man jumped into the Berlin zoo enclosure of famed polar bear Knut on Monday, but officials were able to keep the animal away from the intruder by distracting him with a leg of beef, police said.

Tsuyoshi, a four-year-old "male" polar bear, is seen at Kushiro Municipal Zoo in Kushiro, northern Japan in March, 2008. Puzzled Japanese zookeepers have cleared up a mystery over a lack of chemistry between a couple of polar bears as both turn out to be female, a Japanese zoo said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News via Kushiro Municipal Zoo)

BERLIN (AP) -- A man jumped into the Berlin zoo enclosure of famed polar bear Knut on Monday, but officials were able to keep the animal away from the intruder by distracting him with a leg of beef, police said.

The 37-year-old man jumped over a fence into a water-filled ditch at the edge of the bear's enclosure Monday morning, police said in a statement.

Zoo keepers, who had just let Knut into his outdoor enclosure, were able to lure the bear back into his cage by producing a leg of beef.

Police said the man, a German, was less cooperative, initially ignoring instructions to leave the enclosure. He was led away unharmed but, although he was soaked and cold, he refused to undergo a medical checkup.

Police said that, before being let go, the man told them that he felt lonely and the bear appeared lonely, too.

Knut, now age 2, was hand-raised after his mother rejected him at birth. He rose to stardom early last year as a cute white ball of fluff, but has since grown rapidly into a hulking 440-pound (200-kilogram) predator.


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