Nora, the Columbus Zoo’s polar bear cub, will make her first public appearance on Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Zoo visitors will be able to see Nora in the polar bear habitat at Polar Frontier on Friday and every day thereafter from 9:30 a.m. for about one hour. Viewing times are based on her health and well-being and will be expanded as she grows bigger and stronger, zoo officials said.
Nora was born on Nov. 6, 2015 in the Polar Frontier region at the Powell-based Columbus Zoo. Animal Care team members said they had hoped that Aurora, Nora’s mother, would care for Nora but when she began leaving the fragile newborn alone for prolonged periods of time the team decided to step in and hand-rear the cub.
Weighing about one pound at birth, she now weighs more than 50 pounds and has been reaching important milestones in development throughout her short life, officials said.
The Animal Care team has worked around the clock providing care to Nora while also teaching her how to be a bear, officials said. The team has taken small steps to ensure her safety in a controlled environment while she progresses and learns about her surroundings including the ability to swim.
“Since Nora’s birth a small group of staff members have worked incredibly long shifts, missed holidays, and skipped days off but we would do it all over again in a heartbeat,” said Shannon Morarity, assistant curator at the Columbus Zoo. “Whatever it takes, Nora is our priority. She has grown to be a confident, well-adjusted bear and we think she’s perfect.”