Oregon Zoo Celebrates “Bearthdays” of Baby Polar Bears Nora and Amelia Gray

Polar bear half-sisters Nora and Amelia Gray celebrated their birthday at the Oregon Zoo in Portland this week.

A video shared by the zoo shows Nora, 7, and Amelia Gray, 6, and how much they’ve changed since they were pups.

The half-sisters were both born at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). Nora was transferred to the Oregon Zoo at 10 months old to keep the zoo’s lone polar bear, a 31-year-old female named Tasul, company after her brother, Conrad, died in old age.

Amelia Gray joined Nora in Oregon last year, and even though they had never met the pair became fast friends, zookeepers said.

“Polar bear introductions can be very intense so we took it slowly at first,” said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo’s polar bear habitat, at the time of their meeting. “But they made it very clear they wanted to be together, and their care team listened. Now the two are having a great time playing and hanging out. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on their interactions, but things are off to a great start.”

Nora and Amelia Gray contribute to research into how polar bears and their diets are affected by climate change, conducted by the zoo in partnership with Polar Bears International, the U.S. Geological Survey and others.

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Scout Miller

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