Lonely Man Jumps Into Polar Bear's Cage in Berlin

By: AP
By: 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.

**FILE**In this Nov. 7, 2007 file photo, a polar bear mother and her two cubs walk along the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba near Churchill, Canada. The U.S. Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species Wednesday, May 14, 2008, saying it must be protected because of the decline in Arctic sea ice from global warming. (AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File)

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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