An adorable 4-month-old polar bear named Fritz that captured the hearts of animal lovers worldwide has died. The cub passed away after suffering from liver inflammation at a Berlin zoo on Monday, March 6.
Fritz was born on November 3 and became a local favorite after he was abandoned by his mother. He reportedly had a twin sibling that died shortly after birth.
"We are stunned, very sad and depressed. It is unbelievable how quickly this little polar bear has grown in our hearts," zoo director Andreas Knieriem said in a statement.
Zookeepers examined Fritz after they found that he was sluggish on Monday morning. He was given painkillers and antibiotics, but he died later around 8 p.m.
The official Twitter account for Zoo Tierpark Berlin posted about the sad news. "The whole team of #TierparkBerlin will miss you badly! We are incredibly sad — Goodbye, little #Fritz!" the message read.
Others have been mourning on social media using the hashtag #Fritz. "my heart is so broken baby polar bear fritz passed away last night RIP #Fritz," one mourner wrote. A second posted: "RIP little guy. Maybe you moved into a better world."
German Chancellery chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, also tweeted, and mentioned a similarly beloved polar bear named Knut who died of a suspected brain tumor in 2011 at age 4. "Anyone who remembers little Knut is sad," he wrote on Tuesday. "But above all, we must protect polar bears in nature."