Berlin zoo announces name for its newest polar bear cub

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The polar bear cub Hertha plays with a ball of soccer club Hertha BSC, after the announcing of her name, at the Tierpark zoo in Berlin, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. | AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

BERLIN — It’s Hertha.

Berlin’s Tierpark zoo has unveiled the much-anticipated name of its new star attraction, a four-month-old polar bear cub.

Hertha, born on Dec. 1, is named after the German capital’s eponymous top league soccer club, which is sponsoring the animal.

The club’s mascot — a brown bear — presented a ball bearing with the cub’s name at the zoo Tuesday. Then mother, Tonja, and daughter gamboled into the enclosure to the delight of the assembled photographers.

Hertha played ball for the cameras, literally, before accidentally kicking it into the deep end of the moat. In a display of motherly love, Tonja retrieved the ball.

Berlin’s last celebrity polar bear, Knut, died prematurely from illness in 2011 at age 4. Several cubs born since failed to reach maturity.

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