Oregon Zoo: Polar bear Nora moving to Utah - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo: Polar bear Nora moving to Utah

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Courtesy: Oregon Zoo Courtesy: Oregon Zoo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Fans will soon have to say goodbye to Nora, Oregon Zoo’s playful young polar bear.

Zookeepers announced Wednesday Nora will soon be moving to a Utah zoo to live with another polar bear.

Nora’s new home will be at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City where she will be introduced to another bear named Hope. 

“As hard as it will be for us to say goodbye in the fall, this is the right thing for Nora and we are really excited for her,” said Amy Cutting, a marine life supervisor. “For a young bear that was hand-raised, the companionship of another bear will be so important for developing social skills. Nora has made a lot of progress, and this is an important next step in her life.”

Caregivers did not give an exact departure date but they expect Nora will be moved sometime this fall, meaning fans will have all summer to say farewell.

Nora arrived at the Oregon Zoo in September 2016 after her mother neglected to care for her at the Columbus Zoo.

Oregon zookeepers were hoping their current polar bear Tasul would help mentor Nora as she matured. Tasul, one of the oldest polar bears in the world, died before the two bears could bond.  

Since her arrival, Nora has become a social media sensation, attracting millions of views on various media outlets.

MORE: Nora, river otters enjoy their snow day at the Oregon Zoo

MORE: Polar bear cub Nora welcoming visitors at Oregon Zoo

Nora and her soon-to-be companion Hope was born less than a month apart in 2015. Hope is currently housed at the Toledo Zoo and will be moved to Utah once she is old enough to leave her mother.

“From the time she was a week old, Nora has interacted almost exclusively with people,” Cutting said. “Hope should be a great companion for her."  

The Oregon Zoo officials said they will continue to work on the zoo’s new polar bear habitat that is set to open in 2020. They are unsure if Nora will return once the project is completed. 

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