Knut turns two on Dec 5 and needs a new compound that will give him the space to grow up and vent some of his adolescent hormones.
But the zoo, suffering from the global economic downturn, is unable to raise the money needed for the new enclosure, and has warned Knut will have to go.
The bear, whose bright white baby fur has dulled to a dirty brown, once made the zoo €5 million, but now fails to pull in the crowds.
A new compound and the acquisition of a mate would cost the zoo €9 million, money it simply doesn’t have.
“It’s simply too much money. We cannot afford a third group of polar bears in such economically strained times,” a zoo spokesman told the Times. 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.”