In what could turn out to be a canny career move, Nelson the baby parrot at Leipzig Zoo, dubbed Germany's ugliest bird, has been rejected by his mother, paving the way for what could be a Knut-esque career in the limelight.
The Bild newspaper said on Friday that six-year-old Owaka rejected Nelson as soon as his horrific head poked out of the eggshell, even though he was the only one of three chicks in her nest to emerge alive.
"His mother Owaka wouldn't have anything to do with him from the start," noted the zoo's deputy director Timm Spretke disapprovingly.
Taking up the all-important Thomas Dörflein role as Nelson's human surrogate parent is zoo worker Petra Strecker, who has been hand-rearing the hideous creature for the past seven weeks, feeding him a homemade parrot-food paste. But according to Spretke, Nelson's survival is still very much in the balance.
"He's not quite out of the woods yet, because he's not yet taking food himself," he said.
Now keen parrot watchers are hoping he will not become a victim of his fame, like Til the earless bunny of Limbach-Oberfrohnam, who was tragically stepped on by one of the cameramen sent to launch his media career.