Knut, the button-eyed cub born to the zoo on December 5, has already captured the hearts of Berliners through his own video podcast and TV series. Star photographer Annie Leibovitz also came to take his portrait for an environmental campaign.
On Friday he was to appear for the first time with the handler, who has raised him by hand since his mother rejected him and his brother shortly after their birth. The other cub later died.
The fate of the 9-kilogram (nearly 19-pound) bear stirred a media flap when an animal activist insisted that the cub would have been better off dead than raised by humans. The zoo flatly rejected the idea, reports AP.
The general public will be able to see Knut from the weekend. He is scheduled to make brief appearances with his handler.