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A zoo in the German city of Nuremberg has announced
A zoo in the German city of Nuremberg has announced a contest to name a polar bear female cub rescued by zookeepers after her mother, Vera, showed signs of rejecting her, German media said on Friday.

The four-week old baby bear was removed from her mother's care on January 9 due to fears that she might follow the fate of two other tiny cubs eaten by another polar bear mother, Vilma, last week.

The story has similarities with the story of Knut, a male cub from the Berlin Zoo, who was also abandoned by his mother, a 20-year-old traumatized circus bear, Tosca, shortly after his birth in December 2006.

Knut quickly became a symbol of Germany's campaign against global warming and even Chancellor Angela Merkel recently admitted her fondness for the bear.

The polar bear's official logo has earned over $14 million for the Berlin Zoo and has been used on a wide range of merchandise, including cuddly toys, books, CDs, credit cards and souvenirs.

The Nuremberg cub has quickly won the sympathy of millions of Germans and proposals on what to call the two-kilogram (four pound) fur ball have already begun flooding in.

The zoo has already read a total of 2,000 letters, most of them suggesting the most common German female names - Gerda, Franka, Paula, and Berbel (short of Barbara).

One of the zookeepers, Horst Mausner, said he already called the bear 'Flocke' which in English means 'Snowflake,' as the cub is "as white as snow."

However, the Deputy Mayor of Nuremberg Horst Foerther has said that the baby girl will only be named if she survives infancy.

"She is getting through the stage of going from drinking her mother's milk to bottle-feeding OK," a zoo vet said, adding that, "Her eyes have not yet opened but the holes can be seen."


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