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Knut vs Sara the walrus

This week it's animal madness: yesterday there was the sad news that Knut, Berlin's favourite little polar bear, might be torn from his home. Cute 'n' cuddly Knut, you may remember, has been Berlin Zoo's star attraction (and big earner) for nearly two years. A number of zoos have been angling for him (the Vanity Fair cover probably helped), but it seems poor Knut's fate was sealed before he was even born, and now he is to be claimed - rumplestilskin like - by Neumuenster Zoo, home to Knut's hitherto notably absent father.

"We entered into a contract which stated that the first surviving cub is owned by Neumuenster Zoo," Berlin Zoo director Bernahrd Blaszkiewitz told Deutsche Welle with tragic Hans Christian Anderson-style finality. "And that is Knut."

But even this dramatic tug of love might not manage to keep Knut in the headlines - for today there is a new zoo-star: Sara, the saxophone playing walrus.

And not only does Sara (based at the new Istanbul Dolphinarium) play sax, but she can also blow a whistle. It's a timely reminder to all of us of the need to diversify in these difficult times, but a lesson, I think, for Knut in particular, - being cute just isn't enough anymore. If you're hoping for a warm welcome at your next zoo, think about what you can bring - those bear cub good looks won't last forever.

And finally here is - the videos:

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