Knut to Stay Put – in Berlin
Originally, say news reports, the Berlin Zoo offered Neumünster nearly $500,000 for Knut – but Neumünster was holding out for a cool $1 million before a judge intervened.
Knut (pronounced: Newt) and a sibling were born to the Berlin Zoo's female polar bear, Tosca, and the Neumünster Zoo's male polar bear, Lars, who was strictly on loan to Berlin – on the condition, insisted Neumünster, that Lars's first offspring would be theirs.
After the birth, Tosca rejected her cubs, and Knut's sibling died. Knut survived and became a beloved international figure and tourist draw, to say nothing of an inspiration for a line of toys, puzzles, posters, T-shirts and cell phone ring tones.
In announcing the legal settlement Wednesday, Berlin Zoo director Bernhard Blaskiewitz touted the deal as not only "amicable" but "the best solution for Knut."