Zookeeper Thomas Dörflein died at the age of 44 this week from a heart attack. The mild-mannered animal expert became famous after he took care of Knut when the bear’s mother shunned him.
“Knut will go on looking for his keeper for a few days,” zoo official Heiner Klös told the website of daily Bild. “The bear has noticed that someone is no longer there.”
But Klös made clear the zoo didn’t think Knut would mourn his surrogate father. “Polar bears can miss people, but they can’t mourn like humans,” he said.