PHOTOS: Looking back as Nora the polar bear says goodbye to the Columbus Zoo

(Courtesy the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium/YouTube)

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Nora the polar bear will be leaving the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for Oregon soon, and the last day to see her in the Buckeye State is Monday.

Nora was born on November 6, 2015 at the Columbus Zoo. Her mother initially provided maternal care but, after about a week, she left the cub unattended in the den for prolonged periods of time. At that point, the Columbus Zoo care team made the difficult decision to hand-rear the cub and began providing round-the-clock care.

Now a toddler, she weighs about 169 pounds.

Devon Saybo has been with the cub since she was a day old, helping to raise her for the past 9 months.

“We’ve been preparing her from the time she was very little, trying to get her ready for new experiences and to be an independent bear,” said Saybo.

A team of Nora’s zookeepers from the Columbus Zoo will help transport her to her new home.

“She actually loves her crate,” Saybo said. “She loves small spaces. I think she feels safe in there. So she goes in there and takes naps and we reward her for going in there.”

Nora won’t be alone. She will be living with another female polar bear.  Zookeepers hope that bear will become a mother figure to the young cub.

Fans of Nora’s are sad to see her go.

“Coming up to see her it was almost magical to see,” said Stephanie Lambert. “You see her when she was born back in November fitting in the palm of your hand and to see her now, she’s enormous but she’s just adorable.”

“I am definitely going to miss her here at the zoo,” said Jennifer Kappenman. “You know I could have come back next year and seen how she was growing, but since she won’t be here, I won’t be able to see her growth, but it was still cool to see her before she leaves.”

Your last chance to see Nora is this Monday between 9 and 10:30 a.m. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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