Necropsy results show that Knut, the world’s most famous polar bear from the Berlin zoo, drowned when brain swelling caused him to collapse, zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz said on Friday.
“The cause of Knut’s death was viral infection, which led to brain inflammation,” he said.
The nature of the infection, which severely damaged the animal’s brain and spinal cord, is yet to be established.
Experts have already ruled out rabies, botulism and a prion infection. Knut carried the disease for several months, and it had developed to a stage when it would have killed the animal sooner or later.
Knut, the first bear born in the Berlin Zoo in 30 years, died unexpectedly on March 19 at the age of four after falling into the water in his compound.
Drowning was declared the immediate cause of …