What do a traffic cone, a swimming pool, and a boomer ball have in common? They’re favorite toys of Nora, a playful Polar Bear cub at the Columbus Zoo.
As reported by ZooBorns, Nora was ignored by her mother just days after her November 6 birth. Raising a Polar Bear cub is no small task, but the zoo staff decided to hand-rear the tiny cub. Weighing just 1.5 pounds when keepers took her in, Nora now weighs 29 pounds and has started eating meat in addition to her soft food diet.
Nora’s care team reports that she loves to play with the above mentioned toys and has a very independent nature. They are pleased with how she is developing so far.
Wild Polar Bears are under threat due to melting sea ice in their Arctic habitat and other threats. Because Polar Bears use ice floes as platforms for hunting Seals, the disappearing ice forces Polar Bears to swim longer distances in search of food. As the sea ice melts earlier in the spring, Polar Bears are forced to the mainland before they have built up sufficient food reserves to survive the fall, when food is scarce.
About 20,000-30,000 Polar Bears remain in the Arctic. They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.