Polar bears are some of the most vicious and feared hunters in the animal kingdom. They can weigh close to 1,000 pounds and are equipped with sharp teeth and claws to hunt their prey. They’re truly fearsome, and it’s no wonder they’re known as some of nature’s most skilled killers.
But in spite of all of that, seeing this baby polar bear will make you want to snuggle her.
Baby Nora is a polar bear that was born at the Columbus Zoo back in 2015. Unfortunately, her mother decided to abandon her, so raising her fell into the hands of the zoo employees. And she is just the cutest thing that has ever happened.
Nora might belong to one of the most fearsome animal species on the planet, but she’s also an adorable, fluffy baby.
Nora is a special bear.
She is the first polar bear cub born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to live more than a couple of days. In fact, she had a twin brother who died shortly after he was born.
Zookeepers were extremely worried when her mother got up and left the den when Nora was just six days old. The baby was howling for her, but she didn’t respond.
“It will not be possible to return the cubs to the female when their condition improves or they have been stabilized, as she will not accept them,” reads Nora’s birth plan.
The zoo staff knew this was a dire situation.
Polar bear cubs are extremely fragile. They tend to get sick and become malnourished. They also can’t regulate their own body temperature.
The staff knew that once mother and baby were separated for a couple of hours, there was no reuniting them.
“I think everyone was very scared,” said veterinarian Priya Bapodra. “We didn’t know if she would even let us in there to take the cub. Would she react negatively? So, there was a lot that went into that decision process.”
They knew there was a high possibility that Nora wouldn’t survive under their care.
Thankfully, she grew up with no issues. Now, she’s a healthy adult.
Zoo employees diligently captured footage of Nora growing up. The tiny polar bear did all the things most baby animals do. She drank milk from a bottle, played with her caretakers, dozed, and even snuggled a stuffed version of herself.
It gets even cuter.
Zoo employees provided Nora with bubbles to play with. And of course, she was admired by visitors to the zoo.
At 10 months old, Nora moved to the Oregon Zoo, where she adapted well to the new environment. She looked like an adult now, even though she was still a juvenile
In many ways, she looked like a big, snuggly dog.
Of course, she occasionally gave reminders of what a powerful animal she was.
Zoo footage was captured of her chewing on toys and even diving into the water. Polar bears are natural swimmers. Nora showed off her powerful strokes in her diving tank.
When she was almost two years old, Nora was moved to Hogle Zoo in Utah. There, she continues to thrive.
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