Year TwothousandandKnut

19.3.2023 by Mervi

I wrote this for Knuti’s first birthday and I thought it would be suitable for publishing on this sad day when our fairy tale turned into a tragedy twelve years ago. Maybe it will bring a little smile on your faces despite of the sadness.

Some reflections from a Knutian point of view

For most of us the 5th of December 2006 was just an ordinary day – so we thought but little did we know then! At 3 pm on that day a polar bear cub was born at the Berlin Zoo. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that moment was the beginning of a whole new era in our lives!


Foto: Marion K

In Januari/Februari the first news and pictures were published about the baby polar bear called Knut and his keeper Thomas. This started a worldwide epidemic now known as Knutitis (a desease that can’t and mustn’t be cured!). People throughout the world wanted to know everything about this miracle!

In April Knuti came out for the first time and the daily shows began. The queus were long when thousands of people wanted to see the little darling. RBB started the weekly programs from the Berlin Zoo and started even hosting Knuti’s blog that soon became a popular hang out for all Knutians!

Also many devoted fans started their own Knutsites and blogs. Songs and poems were written about Cute Knut, photographers started visiting the Zoo daily to provide the Knutians with new pictures. The brown basket and the green “kuscheldecke” soon became very familiar to us all! The Knuti fever was spreading very fast!


Photo: Hartmuth

I’m sure Knuti has as many nicknames as there are Knutians! Here are some of them: Lakritznase, Feine Maus, Puschelkeks, Knutie Pie, Knumpkin, Knutischatzele, Knutito, Kuschelbärchen, Cutie Knutie….the list is loooong!

An average Knutian is a woman in her best age – most of them have cats, dogs or both!

By this time many husbands and boyfriends couldn’t help noticing that their wifes/girlfriends got something special in their eyes when they saw pictures of Knuti or visited the Knut blogs. I suggest we give a standing knuvation to all the hubbies, boyfriends and even our pets for their patience with the us during this year!!

The amount of inhabitants in the Knutian world was increasing all the time. Being a Knutian is a 24 hour/day “job”. It’s not enough to sit by the knuputor at home – no, we just have to peek in the blog/s now and then while we are at work, too. And it’s like a vitamine injection to see new pictures of Knuti and read all the latest comments – a true Knutian thinks this peeking should not only be allowed but it should be obligatory!!

Being a Knutian means also love, friendship and caring across the frontiers! We live in different parts of the world and speak different languages but we never have any problems understanding each other! As one of the Knutians said: We speak through our hearts. Besides – we have also created a new, special language – Knutish – to make the communication easier!

The daily show with Knuti and Thomas was the great attraction in Bärlin. When I visited Knut in May/June I could hear all possible languages spoken at the Zoo.

A big moment was when Knuti went into water for the first time. Thomas followed him into the ice cold water and of course, the audience was overwhelmed! Sometimes Knuti hitch hiked on Daddy’s back!


Photo: Christina M

On the 9th of July the show was abruptly stopped and there was a lot of talk about the bear becoming too dangerous for his keeper. The Knutians shook their heads and couldn’t believe it!

Newspapers wrote that now that Knuti’s getting bigger the interest for him will diminish. Oh boy, were they wrong! The Knutians don’t abandon their darling just because he’s getting bigger. Besides – he’s only getting cuter! What a performer he is with his perfect timing. Who can resist those looks towards the audience asking “Did you see that?”

How we have enjoyed seeing Knuti play with his squeaky ball! What energy that furry fellow has!


Photo: Tina

Knuti’s jutebag shows are a classic! It’s incredible what he can do with that bag not to mention his imitations of elephant, tapir, waiter and even Fidel Castro smoking his cigar!

The Knutians were very worried about Knuti when Thomas had his three week vacation in August. Knuti did very well even if we could see he missed his Papi. When it was time for Thomas to come back the Knutian world was almost breathlessly waiting for the pictures and reports about the reunion. And they were richly rewarded! The tears of happiness that were shed that day could have made a new river!

In the end of August Knut hurt his paw and again the Knutian world was worrying. Dr Schüle made himself (temporarily) very impopular when he had to anaesthesize Knuti! Fortunately the paw healed quickly. Our Knuti showed though great cleverness! He had of course noticed he was getting extra attention when he was limping so he kept on limping when there was somebody watching him. We had so fun with our clever fluffy friend!

Hypocondriac Moi? No way!


Also Knuti’s weight was a topic which was discussed lively in the media and in several blogs. Knuti was the one who took it very calmly and continued to enjoy eating his croissants….

Every little incident is BIG news for a Knutian.

The Poo of the Year!

Every single thing Knuti does is great news in the Knutian world. When Knuti didn’t quite make it to the toilet everybody was praising him for being a clever bear who didn’t want to poo in his pool! Accidents DO happen! I could never have imagined that a pooing bear would make me – or anyone else – so excited!

Raking, shovelling and fooling around….

The new mulch bed was headlines for weeks! It was so nice to see little Knuti lying on his bed playing with his jutebag or squeekyball or making his gymnastics! The mulch bed needs to be taken care of and when Daddy came in with his shovel Knuti always wanted to help him. Of course, Daddy couldn’t resist Knuti’s wish to fool around a little…


Photo: Marion K

In November the Zoo director forbid Thomas Dörflein to play with Knuti in the enclosure which upset many Knutians. The feelings calmed down when we learnt that our dream team still spends time together in the “back room”. Knuti is een kleenet kind and needs hid Daddy!


The whole Knutian world celebrated when Thomas Dörflein was awarded by the “Landesverdienstorden” in October. We were all truly happy for him. That man deserves all the prizes and awards in the world!!!

Oktober the 5 th the Knutians started a new tradition – at 8 o’clock in the evening (CET) everybody was to raise her/his glas and sing Happy Birthday to Knuti. We should, of course, eat a croissant, too!! This celebration on the 5th of every month is not just a salute to Knuti but even to the friendship and love in the Knutian world. The Knutians are like the three musketeers – one for all, all for one!

The first snow


Photo: Marion K

One Saturday in November the first snow fell down in Berlin. Knuti was first very suspicious about the white stuff but became soon aware of that the fluffy flakes were actually very funny! He could have so much fun in the snow.

The birthday

Today we Knutians celebrate our white bear’s first real birthday! There will be many visitors from many different countries in front of Knuti’s enclosure. Those who can’t be in Berlin will have a toast at 3 pm but no matter where we are at that moment – we are united in our love to Knuti and his keeper!

We could say that Knutitis has become a way of life! Thank you Knuti and Thomas for making this year so special to all of us!

United we stand

Good friends share the bad days and the good days. They argue and even quarrel but being good friends they always forgive each other. Why don’t we give Knuti a very special birthday gift –a Knutian world where peace, love, understanding and tolerance rule! I’m sure he would appreciate it!


Knut was sent to us for a special reason. He didn’t stay with us very long but one thing’s for sure – he managed to unite people throughout the world! He’s been gone for twelve years but the fire of his spirit is still burning!

Our Dream Team will always be with us!




  1. It is fitting that Knut was sculpted by a Ukrainian artist. The love of life, freedom and happiness that he put into the figure of Knut shows thst whether it is love for a little bear and his carer or support for a brave people in need the spirit of hope burns bright

  2. …und immer noch kann man diese wunderschönen Fotos einer wunderbaren Beziehung nicht ohne Wehmut betrachten…
    Habt herzlichen Dank,ihr Beiden! 💓💓

    Liebe Grüße von Brigitte

  3. Dear Mervi!
    Thank you for this touching article, although it made me sad at first.
    I will never forget the shock and disbelieving horror when I heard the news on the radio twelve years ago. Until then it had been a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon, with the best prospects for the weekend . After that, the mourning began, which is still there after all these years.
    But you can’t think of Knut without remembering the many beautiful and funny moments with him and many friends that unavoidably make you smile.

    Dear Knut, dear Thomas, dear Hartmuth, dear Doris, all you dear ones who have gone before us – Wish you were here!
    But there you are, here in my heart.


  4. No matter how long it’s been since Knut crossed the rainbow bridge, he’s still in my heart.
    Thank you, dear Mervi, for the wonderful memories of the magic bear!!


  5. Thank you very much dear Mervi.
    Dear Knuti-We will never forget you. We will always love you. We miss you so much. You will always live in our hearts.

  6. Dear Mervi! Thank you for the wonderful memories. We had very special time with Knut.
    I cannot forget a terrible day as Knut passed away.

  7. Mervi,

    Thank you for the walk down memory lane. It is hard to believe that it has been 12 years since Knut left us.

    Best wishes,


  8. Sorry, dear KNUT-friends, this year I would have nearly had forgotten this shock-day from 12 years ago. Thank you for the loving remembrance, dear Mervi. Sad thoughts come up but also always the lots of beeautiful and unforgettable moments at the KNUT-times many of us could experience more or less together.

    Some peaceful moments in this sense may accompany any of us into tonights dreams!

  9. Dear Mervi,

    even after 12 years your loving lines about the unfortunately much too short life of Knut touch me deep into my heart.
    It was a fairy tale with Knut and even if it remained without a happy ending, fairy tales are there to be read again and again and that will remain so as long as there are still people who have experienced Knut live and who are still connected today in Knut blogs like yours.

    Many thousand thanks for your lines and the many beautiful photos!
    In memory also of all former Knut friends who have left us like Knut
    I greet you all very warmly.

    Semper Knut!

    PS. I came only after vain attempts before today over another browser on this side and write therefore so late

    Liebe Mervi,

    auch nach 12 Jahren berühren mich deine liebevollen Zeilen über das leider viel zu kurze Leben von Knut bis tief ins Herz.
    Es war ein Märchen mit Knut und wenn es auch ohne Happy End geblieben ist, Märchen sind dazu da immer wieder gelesen zu werden und das wird so bleiben, solange es noch Menschen gibt, die Knut live erlebt haben und die heute immer noch in Knut-Blogs wie deinem verbunden sind.

    Vielen tausend Dank für deine Zeilen und die vielen schönen Fotos!
    In Erinnerung auch an alle ehemaligen Knutfreunde, die uns wie Knut verlassen haben
    grüße ich euch alle sehr herzlich.

    Semoer Knut!

    PS. Ich bin erst nach vergeblichen Versuchen vorher heute über einen anderen Browser auf diese Seite gekommen und schreibe deshalb so spät.

  10. Danke, it`s nice to remember. A wonderful time.Und vielen Dank liebe Mervi für die Arbeit und Zeit , die du investierst.


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