Didn't hear it coming? Earless rabbit destined for stardom dies after being trodden on by cameraman

By Allan Hall

After Paul the Octopus, Knut the polar bear and Heidi the cross-eyed Opossum, the world has been waiting for a new animal celebrity.

Step forward Til, the earless rabbit - who appeared destined for super-stardom, or a few extra carrots at least, when his touching disability was first discovered.

But his brush with fame was cut tragically short when he was accidentally trodden on by a cameraman at a photoshoot.

Gone too soon: Rare earless rabbit Til was destined to become a star in his native Germany, before he was crushed to death during a photoshoot. (Picture shows Til with intern Sophie Hartig at the animal park in Limbach-Oberfrohna, Germany)

Til was born in a small zoo in Limbach-Oberfrohna in Saxony, eastern Germany, three weeks ago. His earlessness was a rarity and he was destined for animal stardom.

He was meant to be presented to the press at a news conference today and was filmed on Wednesday.

But Uwe Dempewolf, the director of the zoo, said: 'During the filming, the cameraman took a step back and trod on the bunny.

'He was immediately dead, he didn’t suffer. It was a direct hit. No one could have foreseen this. Everyone here is upset. The cameraman was distraught and I am completely floored by the whole thing.'

Compare and contrast: Tiny Til (right) pictured a week ago with one of his five siblings. The babies were born in February, and Til was the animal park's star attraction

Til died almost a year after the demise of Germany’s famous orphaned polar bear Knut who suffered a brain haemmorhage and drowned in his enclosure at Berlin Zoo on March 19 2011.

He was named after Til Schweiger, the German hardman actor who co-starred in Quentin Tarantino’s wartime romp ‘Inglourious Basterds’.

It remains unclear why he had no ears, but clearly he did not hear the cameraman coming towards him.



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