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Polar bear 'Nora' returns to Oregon after more than three years at Hogle Zoo

File photo: Polar bear "Nora"
Posted at 8:13 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 10:21:37-05

PORTLAND, Ore. — Beloved polar bear "Nora" has returned to her previous home in Portland after a two-and-half-year stay at Utah's Hogle Zoo.

"We loved and treasured her so much and had many diverse experiences with Nora, including the challenge to help her heal when she broke her leg! We were able to get her the proper treatment to nurse her back to full strength so she can continue being the loveable, silly polar bear she is. We will miss our beehive bear!" a Facebook post from Hogle Zoo says.

According to Oregon Zoo, Nora was born November 6, 2015 at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

RELATED: Polar bears Hope and Nora play for the first time at Utah's Hogle Zoo

"[When] her mother began leaving her unattended in the den for prolonged periods of time —Columbus caregivers made the difficult but necessary decision to step in and hand-rear the tiny cub, feeding her from a bottle until she was old enough to eat on her own," a news release from Oregon Zoo says.

Nora arrived in Portland in September 2016, where she spent time with a geriatric polar bear named "Tasul," and she was moved to Hogle Zoo a year later. Nora and "Hope," a polar bear born at Toledo Zoo, were both introduced for public viewing at Hogle Zoo that fall.

Nora suffered a break to her right front humerus in January of 2019. Zookeepers believe she sustained the injury due to her "signature style of roughhouse play." Veterinarians consulted with numerous zoos, veterinary surgeons, radiologists and human orthopedic specialists before assembling “a world-class surgical team” to repair the break in an eight-hour operation. She returned to the public spotlight the following August.

RELATED: 'Superstar' polar bear Nora returns to Hogle Zoo exhibit after suffering broken bone

Hope was relocated to Chicago's Brookfield Zoo in February.

"[Hope's relocation was based] on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for polar bears — a cooperative program that helps maintain a genetically diverse, self-sustaining population to guarantee the long-term future of these animals," the news release from Oregon Zoo says.

Another female polar bear will join Nora at Oregon Zoo's Polar Passage exhibit this fall.

In the meantime, Hogle Zoo has welcomed a 15-year-old male polar bear named "Nikita." Nikita weights 1,200 pounds—more than Nora and Hope combined—and he'll make his public debut at Hogle Zoo in a few weeks, after he finishes a 30-day quarantine.

RELATED: Hogle Zoo to welcome new polar bear