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Berlin's baby polar bear gets a name

April 2, 2019

Berlin's new baby polar bear has a name, after one of its sponsors. The little cub charmed visitors to the city's Tierpark zoo when she was introduced to the world last month.

Berlin polar bear Hertha
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Kalaene

Four months after she was born, Berlin's Tierpark on Tuesday morning revealed the name of the popular polar baby bear that has been winning over the hearts of so many visitors.

The zoo said that, in recent months, it had received 5,300 name naming suggestions. However, the final decision was reached with a little help from Bundesliga soccer side Hertha Berlin.

Tierpark Berlin was tasked with finding a sponsor to help raise its profile, and settled on city football side, simply calling the club Hertha.

As part of its responsibilities, Hertha Berlin will help finance the polar bear's care while also raising awareness of the plight of the animals in the world.

"We thought we needed a strong sponsor," said Tierpark director Andreas Knierem. Quite simply, it was thought, fans of the club might also be fans of the cub.

Hertha Berlin tweeted its delight at being chosen.

"In Berlin you can be anything, even a polar bear called Hertha," the club said. "Two great Berlin institutions are now working together," said Hertha Berlin's commercial manager Ingo Schiller.

While finding a name was a protracted process this time around, that wasn't the case when Knut the polar bear — who became a huge star at the zoo — was first presented to the world. His name simply occurred to zookeeper Thomas Dörflein at random.

Read more: The peculiar traits that made polar bear life possible

Zoo officials are hoping Hertha can emulate some of the popularity of Knut, who attracted widespread media attention, once featuring on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and even appearing on German stamps. Sadly, Knut died from a suspected brain tumor in 2011.

rc/jil (dpa, AFP)