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Knut the polar bear becomes museum display in Berlin

February 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
One of the world's most famous polar bears has been immortalized. A museum in Berlin unveiled a life-like statue of Knut.

The statue was prepared by taxidermists, who used the famous bear's fur and claws on a poly-urethane body fitted with glass eyes. It was unveiled at the Natural History Museum on Friday.

Knut was hand-raised at Berlin Zoo after his mother rejected him. He shot to stardom in 2007 as a cuddly cub, appearing on magazine covers and merchandise.

The bear died unexpectedly in 2011 after suffering from encephalitis, inflammation in the brain.

The museum dismissed criticism of the decision to display Knut, saying it gives everyone an opportunity to see him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.