Following the sudden death of 4-year-old Knut, the star of the Berlin Zoo, PETA now says they reached out months ago asking the famous bear's handlers to do more for his safety.

Knut's mother rejected him shortly after his birth and he was raised by hand; his adorable photos took the world by storm when he was a cub, and he generated millions for the zoo.

Polar bears reportedly have a life expectancy of three decades or more in the wild; it's allegedly 15-20 years in captivity.

Knut (pictured at the height of his fame in 2007) was inexplicably found dead in a pool on Saturday, inside the enclosure he shared with three female bears. Germans, and fans the world over, have reacted with shock.

But PETA says Knut's death may have been preventable.