Knut the polar bear, once the most famous of his specis in the world, has been honored in death at the Berlin Natural History Museum.
Knut died in 2011 and the decision was taken to call in the taxidermists, despite protests from animal activists.
Taxidermist Robert Stein explained the complex process: “In the end it was just very, very difficult for us to put the bones back together again and to rebuild the skeleton. I say rebuild, because they were cut into pieces. There were 1,000 individual parts, and this is very difficult. Usually we pull the fur off, and then we have a complete body which we can measure, but in this case it was different.”
It took over three months to create the sculpture that was presented, briefly, to the public and then went on tour to highlight the dangers of climate change.
Born in Berlin Zoo in December 2006, Knut was hand-raised by his keeper after his mother rejected him. He rose to stardom in 2007 as a cuddly cub, appearing in magazines, films and news reports while his image adorned much money spinning merchandise.
He died in 2011 after suffering from encephalitis.
More than 11 million visitors saw Knut during his lifetime.