[Yeti Trouble] Knut the Bear Makes a Come-Back

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M. Sweeney Lawless

Jan 25, 2008, 7:17:33 AM1/25/08
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After falling on hard times, young Knut the bear finds his star is on the ascendence again as the Berlin Zoo fields film offers from production companies. After looking for an excuse to foist its young charge off on another animal park, the zoo now takes a particular interest in Knut, especially as any film deal would net a substantial sum.

It was only last month when the Berlin Zoo was considering proposals of a very different kind as other zoos took pity on Knut and offered him shelter when his keepers announced he would be forced him to move, allegedly because the Berlin Zoo did not have enough room to keep him. But the prospect of cashing in on the innocent bear and his adoring, affluent audience has inspired an about-face; now zoo officials have taken a sudden interest in Knut. Now that Hollywood has come calling, there is no longer talk of ousting Knut – at least, not as long as he remains a celebrity.

This on-again/off-again fame is feeding into the vulnerable young bear’s insecurities. Besides putting on “shows” for zoo patrons, Knut regularly exhibits attention-seeking behavior. He has even gone so far as to fake an injury, perhaps as a gambit to receive medication, though zoo veterinarians deny that the bear is a seeker or that he is in any way dependent upon painkillers.

According to industry insiders, Knut is squaring off against demons familiar to many former child celebrities who have not yet made a stable transition to adulthood. Like Brooke Shields, he has battled depression while in the public eye. Like Linda Blair, he has outgrown the roles of his youth, and is desperately searching for his “Roller Boogie” and “Up Your Alley.”

But the question remains: will the Berlin Zoo help Knut to find himself, or become the worst breed of stage parent, exploiting the young and inexperienced bear and feeding him an unwholesome diet of limelight and flattery? One thing is for certain: it’s only a matter of time before YouTube clips of Knut and his personal assistant, Thomas Doerflein, are pulled for infringement of the Berlin Zoo’s hottest property – for now.



Posted By M. Sweeney Lawless to Yeti Trouble at 1/25/2008 04:08:00 AM
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