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Polar bear cub makes public debut

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  • Polar bear cub that has captured German hearts makes public debut
  • Cub bottle-fed by zookeepers after fears mother would eat her
  • Cub has learnt to use paws and takes to paddling in pool
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A fluffy white polar bear cub that has captured German hearts is making her first public appearance Tuesday at the Nuremberg City Zoo.

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Flocke was bottle-fed by zookeepers because they feared she would be eaten by her mother.

Flocke, whose name means "snowflake" in German, was born at the zoo in December. She gained international attention in January after zookeepers said they had taken Flocke away from her mother because of concerns she would eat her.

The zoo's other female polar bear had recently eaten her two offspring, and the zoo was worried that Flocke's mother would do the same.

Zookeepers bottle-fed Flocke and kept her warm with blankets and heatlamps. Video Watch video of baby polar bear. »

Sweet pictures of the young bear being cuddled by her keepers or sleeping with her tongue sticking out boosted Flocke's popularity, and she quickly eclipsed Knut, the polar bear at the Berlin Zoo.

Knut was a sensation when he was born in December 2006, but at 16 months old, he's no longer considered as cute as his Nuremberg counterpart.

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Flocke has grown into a bouncy young cub who is learning how to use her large paws. The zoo's latest pictures of Flocke, from early last week, show her frolicking in her enclosure and paddling in a pool of shallow water.

The first chance to see Flocke up close was Tuesday, when the zoo held a media event with about 50 members of the public. Starting Wednesday, people visiting the zoo will be able to see Flocke in her enclosure from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. daily -- "if Flocke plays along" and decides to step outside, the zoo said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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