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'Cute Knut' Raking in Cash at Berlin Zoo
BERLIN (AP) - "Cute Knut," Germany's celebrity polar bear cub, is turning into a moneymaker for the Berlin Zoo, which expects to bring in $3.3 million more than last year due to a dramatic rise in visitors.
The 6-month-old bear draws several hundred visitors each day, who line up behind metal gates for his 11 a.m. public viewing. Unfazed by the attention Tuesday, Knut rolled in the dirt under a broiling sun and chewed on the arm of his keeper.
Officials say the cub, the first polar bear born at the Berlin Zoo in 33 years, helped the zoo record its millionth visitor of the year in mid-May, a mark not typically reached until late July. Revenue is expected to rise to nearly $20 million this year from $16.6 million in 2006.
"Part of it is the weather effect, due to the particularly warm spring, and a large part is the Knut effect," Zoo director Gerald Uhlich said.