Berlin - (Rotters): Baby bi-polar bear Knut has been placed on suicide watch after keepers became worried he may be sickening amid diplomatic negotiations for US President George W Bush to pose alongside the cutesy babe during a forthcoming EU visit and Iraq War funraiser.
"We've also had White House requests to swap Knut for the UK Royal Navy hostages held in Iran," said a Berlin Zoo spokesman.
And calls from Ken Livingstone to have the cub put down "as a gesture of atonement for European slavery" have been met with some enthusiasm among animal rites activists who haven't had a decent public slanging match with anybody for some months now.
Knut appears to be thriving but the threat of potential contamination by the Bush Administration has led the Zoo to ask for a ten mile exclusion zone to be placed around the bear during any forthcoming US goodwill (sic) visits.
"Hari-Kiri is by no means a remote possibility if Knut gets stressed by the idea of a violent warmonger polluting his compound," says the Zoo website. "We're taking every conceivable precaution."