Knut the Polar Bear Being Evicted From Berlin Zoo

The world's most famous polar bear, Knut, has become the latest victim of the worldwide credit crunch.

The animal, which pulled in the crowds as a cute cub, turns 2 years old Friday and needs a new enclosure at the Berlin Zoo for him to grow up and mate in.

But the zoo is suffering from the global economic downturn and is unable to raise the money needed to build another compound.

It's warned that Knut, who was rejected by his mother at birth and then raised by zookeepers, will have to leave.

The bear, whose bright white baby fur has become dirty, once made the zoo $6 million, but now fails to attract visitors.

His star is on the wane and he has become more grumpy and less inclined to perform.

A new compound and obtaining a partner would cost $11 million, which is too expensive for the zoo.

"It's simply too much money. We cannot afford a third group of polar bears in such economically strained times," a zoo spokesman said.

The senior bear keeper, Heiner Kloes, agreed.

"It's time for him to go -- the sooner he gets a new home the better, " he said. "Anything else would be financially irresponsible."

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