He played with Knut, swam with him, and strummed Elvis Presley songs on his guitar to lull him to sleep. Man and bear even celebrated Christmas and New Year together, joined in the straw-lined pen by Doerflein's girlfriend, Daniela Kaiser, and her six year-old son, Louis....
But then, last December, everything suddenly changed. Doerflein was summoned to the office of Berlin Zoo director Bernhard Blaskiewitz and told that he would no longer be caring for Knut. The extraordinary bond which had been built between bear and man was to be severed.
Doerflein was distraught, demanding to be allowed to continue looking after Knut. He was overruled and now, just nine months later, he's dead, apparently from a heart attack. But many of his supporters believe that Thomas Doerflein - who was only 44 - died from a broken heart.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Knut's Keeper Dies
Remember Knut the polar bear at the Berlin Zoo? Well, his keeper died and it sounds like a very sad story.