If a dog could develop a friendship with a polar bear cub, Nora would be my best friend. I have been watching her on video since her birth at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was announced on November 6, 2015. I think we would have much in common as we both like to swim, play with balls, hang out with humans and eat treats. Knowing that I needed a ride to the zoo to meet her, I started bugging Doc to take me as soon as I found out she was old enough to go out into the polar bear yard and meet the public, but Doc kept telling me we were too busy to go to the zoo. Then one day a miracle happened, Doc woke me up early in the morning and said, “Get up Grover, we are going to meet Nora today!”
After I gobbled down my breakfast so fast that I almost choked, I hopped into the back of the car for the drive to the zoo. As we pulled into the parking lot and headed toward the entrance, my heart quickened with anticipation. Even though it was only 9:20am, there was already a line forming outside of the polar bear exhibit. Doc knows how to assertively maneuver through a crowd, so we a got a space right up front by the glass. Suddenly, one of the zoo personnel announced that Nora was in the middle of the viewing area, and as we looked down, there she was, smiling up at me. I was immediately smitten.
I was happy to see Nora having a great time playing with her ball, swimming and going fishing. She has come a long way since her mother Aurora stopped caring for her about a week after her birth. The zoo staff took over for Aurora and hand-reared Nora. You can tell she has been raised by humans because she sure is a ham around all the people that come to visit her and came right up to the glass to look at us.
The best things about Nora’s birth is that the Columbus Zoo has now been designated as an Artic Ambassador Center by Polar Bears International. Baby Nora will help the public understand that the existence of polar bears are under threat due to the changing environment where they live. An important job for a baby.
After watching her for awhile, I wanted to go in the water and swim with her, but Doc told me she needs to learn to socialize with the other polar bears, not with dogs. She did agree that we need to come and check on her more often, so until next time, I will just have to hold this special day with Nora in my heart.