Friday, August 18, 2017

Amelia Gray is a star

Amelia Gray

Nine month old Amelia Gray is in perpetual motion it seems. Her many visitors are entertained by her antics, swimming and on land. Mother Anana keeps a watchful eye, but lets her independent daughter play on her own. Since she is an only child (her twin died shortly after birth) she is a big girl, weighing 177 pounds a month ago, so she is probably up to 200 pounds now.

Something catches their attention

Amelia Gray, close up

Amelia Gray on the edge

Amelia and Anana are out in the public enclosure on alternate days, rotating with Anana's twin sister Aurora and her cub Neva and Nuniq, who are just a few days younger. Neva is quite a bit smaller than Amelia, while Nuniq is a very big boy.

Amelia Gray and her leafy snack

Amelia Gray loves playing with freshly cut branches

Lots of leaves for Amelia

Anana supervises from a distance
Looking into the camera lens
 Amelia is happy to play by herself, and Anana is happy to let her daughter roam. Amelia likes her toys, but she really likes to chew on leaves and branches that the keepers leave for her.

Lunchtime for the cub

Amelia Gray in a wistful mood

And a happy Amelia
 She is also a pretty good swimmer, and is already catching the live trout that swim in the deep pool.

Amelia poses for a fan underwater

Up, up and away, with bubbles
 There are no plans to bring the two families together. The rotation seems to be working out very well. There is a large open space with a pool behind the scenes, so whichever family is not in the public view is playing and swimming in private.

Sitting on the dock


Just checking on a napping mom

Amelia Gray at the window
Waving hi!
 Nanuq, a wildborn bear, was the father of all three cubs. Sadly, he died of complications of old age shortly after they were born.

Anana checks out the old boat

Like mother, like daughter

More lunchtime

Comparing profiles
There is also news about Nora, who will be two years old this fall. Nora is the daughter of Aurora and the late Nanuq. She was handraised by keepers at the Columbus Zoo and then sent to the Oregon Zoo when she was almost a year old, so there would be room at the Columbus Zoo for the expected new cubs. Nora will soon be moving to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, where she will be joined by her Aunt Hope of the Toledo Zoo. Hope, daughter of Aurora and Anana's parents Crystal and Marty, is also almost two years old as well, so these two young girl cubs should have a good time playing together in Salt Lake City. Those two girls were the only cubs born in the U.S. that year. The three cubs now living in Columbus are the only cubs born in the U.S this past birthing season. 

Nora in Columbus. She is in the Oregon Zoo in Portland, and will soon be moving to Salt Lake City, where she will have a playmate, her Aunt Hope. Both cubs will be two years old this fall.

Aurora and Anana's little sister Hope will be moving from Toledo
 to Salt Lake City, where she will be a great playmate for her niece Nora


  1. What wonderful photos! I'm heading to the Columbus Zoo tomorrow to see the bears, and staying over so we can go back on Saturday and see the other excited! We were able to make it to Columbus last summer to see Nora and then, in September, we "met" Hope in a behind-the-scenes tour; I, too, have high hopes (no pun intended!) that Aunt Hope and her slightly older niece Nora will become fast friends.

    Instead of "Birthplace of Aviation," I think Ohio's slogan should "Polar Bear Capital of the U.S."! :D

    1. Ohio is indeed the place to be if you want to see polar bears. Have fun visiting the cubs in Columbus. They are so much fun.

  2. Amelia is such a cutie! Thanks for the fine pictures!
    Love, Heidi

  3. Beautiful photos.