Journalists have long know that baby animals pull in the readers and viewers. But what is so special about polar bears? Today the story of Knut, hand-reared in Berlin Zoo, has the world gripped. Fortunes are being made from soft toys and Bloomberg reports that the zoo’s shares have doubled in value. Knut has even made the the cover of Vanity Fair in a montage with Leonardo DiCaprio.
It all seems a bit of a replay of the birth of polar bear cub Brumas in London Zoo in November 1949. In 1950 the zoo’s visitors went up by a half to three million. They have never reached that figure again.