Rare bunny crushed to death by cameraman at German zoo

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:02pm EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A fawn-colored baby rabbit tipped for fame in Germany as he was born without ears was accidentally trampled and killed by a cameraman who had come to a zoo to film him, German media reported this week.

"I can't believe it. The rabbit was so sweet. It is a huge tragedy," zoo manager Uwe Dempewolf told Bild newspaper.

The rabbit, due to be named "Til", had hopped behind the cameraman during filming in his small hay-strewn stall at the zoo in Limbach-Oberfrohna, and was crushed as the cameraman took a step backwards.

Several German animals have become international celebrities in recent years, including polar bear Knut, who was hand-reared as a cub at Berlin Zoo, and Paul, an octopus who correctly predicted the results of each of Germany's World Cup soccer matches and accurately tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands in the final.

Til's death recalls that of another German star-in-the-making, a squirrel named "Cinderella", who died in 2005 after also being trampled on accidentally by a German television reporter.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson, editing by Paul Casciato)