news_Berlin_01022017

It's a Fritz

Berlin (dpa) - Berlin's new baby polar bear has been given the suitably German name Fritz, chosen from 10,000 suggestions submitted by members of the public.

The name was selected Tuesday from suggestions submitted mainly from Germany, but also from the United States, Canada and Sweden, by a panel of seven judges headed by Tierpark Berlin director Andreas Knieriem.

Knieriem said the name had been chosen because it was a "typically German name" that suited Berlin.

Fritz originated as a nickname for the name Friedrich, and was used by both Frederick II of Prussia and the German emperor Frederick III.

"It's a wonderful name - short and sweet," said Knieriem in a video posted on YouTube. "It's a name ... which suits a bear of strong character."

The cub was born on November 3 to mother Tonja and father Wolodja as one of two twins, but his sibling died shortly after birth. It was the first time in 22 years that a polar bear cub had been born in the Tierpark enclosure.

Visitors are expected to be able to see Fritz in the zoo's polar bear enclosure from March or April.

The Tierpark Zoo in east Berlin is one of the city's two major zoos.

The other is located in Zoologischer Garten in central Berlin, and is arguably best-known for its beloved polar bear Knut, who died in 2011 and left thousands of fans around the world in mourning.

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