Wednesday, April 9, 2008
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
BERLIN - Never mind the burly polar bear Knut, here's the cute new cub Flocke.
With all the fanfare of a movie premiere or record release, Nuremberg city and zoo officials on Tuesday introduced Germany's latest winsome polar bear cub to a public eager for its first live glimpse of her.
The furry 4-month-old imp has been tugging at their heartstrings by video and photograph for months.
'Not only Nuremberg, but the whole world has been in Flocke fever,' said the city's deputy mayor Horst Foerther. He said the cub has attracted millions of hits on Google since the zoo decided to raise her by hand in January.
In her afternoon debut before television cameras, the chubby bear had to be coaxed out into the polar bear enclosure, then slowly nosed around the rocks and grass with the curiosity of a toddler - keeping close to the zookeeper with her.
But she quickly gained confidence, eventually bounding through the grass and plunging into the water; paddling about for a few minutes before climbing out to nibble on the zookeeper's shoe to the delight of the television reporters.
Flocke, born Dec. 11 and then rejected by her mother, made her public debut at the Nuremberg zoo just as interest in the Berlin zoo's now fully grown polar bear sensation, Knut, seems to be waning.