The deaths of 2 popular animals have resulted in recent parallel stories of efforts made to continue the tourism that those animals generated:
- Knut, an abandoned polar bear cub, became a worldwide sensation at the Berlin Zoo in 2006, but died in 2011. The Berlin Natural History Museum has just revealed plans to display a model of the bear. Johannes Vogel, the new general director of the Museum, hopes Knut will attract a new wave of museum-goers. Museum spokeswoman Gesine Steiner said, "It's important to point out that we have not stuffed Knut....Rather, this is a plastic form, true to the original and covered with Knut's very own fur."
- Lolong, the world's largest saltwater crocodile at 6.17m (20.24'), was captured in Bunawan, Philippines, in 2011. The 1-ton animal had drawn countless foreign visitors to the ecotourism park where it was on display, until it died earlier this month (image above). The town's mayor Edwin Cox Elorde plans to have the crocodile preserved and placed in a museum so Bunawan villagers and tourists could still marvel at it: "I'd like them to see the crocodile that broke a world record and put our town on the map."
Knut may no longer be as cute, but Lolong will probably elicit the same oohs and aahs...