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Call me 'Fritz': German polar bear cub finally has name

February 1, 2017

It's official: this little cub at Berlin's Tierpark zoo has been christened 'Fritz.' The fluffy baby polar bear will be presented to the public next month.

Kleiner Eisbär im Tierpark erstmals untersucht
Image: picture alliance/dpa/Tierpark Berlin

Baby polar bear from Berlin finally has a name

Germany's new favorite polar bear cub has been given a suitably German name.

After sorting through more than 10,000 names submitted by the public, a panel christened the fluffy white cub "Fritz."

Berlin's Tierpark zoo, where Fritz lives, announced the name at midnight over Twitter on Tuesday.

The Berlin zoo, in conjunction with a number of media partners, called on the public to send in prospective names for the young bear. Berlin radio broadcaster radioBerlin 88,8 said on Monday it had received more than 2,000 shortlisted names, with suggestions even coming in from Sweden, the US and Canada.

The seven-person jury consisted of the zoo's director, Andreas Knieriem, the zookeeper responsible for polar bears, Florian Sicks, a selected reader of the "Berliner Zeitung" newspaper, a reader of the "Berliner Kurier" newspaper, a listener and presenter from radioBerlin and the head of Berlin broadcaster rbb media. 

In the end, the panel chose a name that was quintessentially German and true to its Berlin surroundings.

"I'm delighted with the name," Knieriem said. "It's short and snappy, and foreign tourists visiting the zoo will easily be able to remember it."

This isn't the first time Germany has found itself infatuated with a cuddly baby polar bear. In 2006, polar bear legend Knut stole German hearts and went on to become a worldwide mass media phenomenon.

Fritz was born on November 3, 2016. Last month, the zoo was able to determine that the young cub was a boy.

The zoo plans to present him to the public in March.

dm/jr (dpa/Tierpark Berlin)

Fluff alarm: It's a boy