Nora at Oregon Zoo in May 2017 (Sheila Sund – Creative Commons Licence)

Name:  Nora (female)

Born: 6 November 2015 in Columbus Zoo, Powell, Ohio, USA

Mother: Aurora

Father: Nanuq (deceased)

Siblings:  Nuniq (male) & Neva (female) born 14 November 2016, Kulu (male) born 28 November, 2019. Also half sisters Luna and Amelia Gray (born for Nanu) in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Current location: Oregon Zoo, Portland, Oregon, USA

History of captivity:

  1. Born in captivity at Columbus Zoo, Powell, Ohio, USA on 6 November 2015
  2. Transferred to Oregon Zoo, Portland, Oregon, USA on 14 September 2016
  3. Transferred to Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, Utahon 19 September 2017
  4. Returned to Oregon Zoo 9 March 2021

Progeny: None

Additional Information

After Nora’s mother abandoned her she was hand-reared in Columbus Zoo.  After being featured in a series of articles (see links below), a video and a children’s book Nora is probably the most widely known polar bear in the USA.

Nora broke the humerus bone in her right front leg in February 2019 whilst playing at Hogle Zoo and received surgery.  In May 2019 the Zoo reported that Nora was making a good recovery. See also this news report published on 20 August 2019.

See here for a further update from the Zoo on Nora’s progress published on 7 October, 2019 (opens in new window).

The Loneliest Polar Bear: the series of articles published in The Oregonian in 2016 / 2017.  The page also has links to the children’s book about Nora, “Hope for Nora”. In 2021 an adult book was published, “The Loneliest Polar Bear”, about Nora and the wider issues involved.  You can read an interview with the book’s author, Kale Williams, here.

Below is the video “Thin Ice: A Polar Bear’s Plight” about Nora. (Note: the opinions expressed in this video are those of the contributors and their organisations, and not necessarily of Bear Conservation)

Return to Captive Polar Bear Directory

Page updated 15 April 2021