Thursday, April 19, 2007
Polar Bear Knut Receives Death Threats
Security was tightened at Berlin Zoo on Thursday after a threat to kill its hugely popular polar bear cub, Knut.
"Knut is dead! Thursday noon," read a note sent to the zoo on Wednesday afternoon after the fluffy white animal finished the second of his two daily public appearances.
Police said they were not looking for anyone specific in connection with the threat, which they said was written in a confused manner, apparently on a computer.
"If the threat was serious, then we would take action," a police spokesman said.
The zoo said it had increased security around Knut's enclosure, but visitors would still be able to see him as usual. The four-month- old cub has been pulling in record crowds since he made his debut in public on March 23.
A zoo official declined to comment on a report in the mass- circulation Bild newspaper that the number of security guards protecting Knut had been increased from five to 15.
Bild said that after the threat was received, the zoo alerted police, who sent two squad cars to the scene as officers took up position outside the animal's cage.
A plainclothes policeman with a walkie-talkie radio even hid behind a large rock overlooking Knut's enclosure, the newspaper said.
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