Don’t they grow up fast!
It seems like only yesterday that Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, welcomed its newborn polar bear, weighing a tiny 1 pound, into the world.
Now the adorable cub — who was this week named Nora after a public vote — weighs 18 pounds and is crawling, walking and running around all by herself.
Footage posted online shows how she’s matured since her birth on Nov. 6 last year. The zoo also uploaded this video where she’s officially given her name, a fusion of her dad’s Nanuq and mom’s Aurora:
A total 88,061 votes were cast from across the world to decide on the moniker, according to the zoo. The rejected suggestions were Desna, meaning “boss,” Kaya, meaning “little but wise” and Sakari, meaning “sweet.”
“We are thrilled and inspired that so many people around the world helped name this young polar bear,” said zoo president and CEO Tom Stalf.
“We hope that those who have been watching Nora grow will continue to do so throughout her life, and remember that we all have a role to play in protecting wild polar bears for generations to come.”
A previous Facebook post revealed that the zoo’s animal care staff were hand-rearing the cub after her mom stopped caring for her:
Staff continue to help but the cub is becoming more and more independent every day, said the zoo’s assistant curator Shannon Morarity.
Wild polar bears are found in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway, and do not live in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the zoo’s website.
Females live for an average 24.1 years and can grow to 8 feet tall and 550 pounds.