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Cute polar bear makes public appearance

Posted at 6:45 PM, Apr 14, 2016

Nora, the newborn polar bear at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, made her first public appearance Friday morning before a crowd of 1,000 gathered at the zoo. 

Nora has created quite a frenzy on social media, as photos and videos of the baby polar bear have been viewed millions of times from the zoo's Facebook page. 

Her appearance was brief - kept to one hour - as she is still nursing and frequently resting. Nora is expected to be outside for public viewing every morning for an hour as she continues growing and getting stronger. 

After being born in November weighing 1 pound, Nora is now weighing 50 pounds. 

According to the Columbus Zoo, Nora's mother did not spend much time with her as a cub, meaning that the zoo had to hand-rear the her. During the last few months, not only has zoo staff nursed Nora, they have allowed Nora to learn how to be a bear. 

Nora was given her name by an online vote that 88,000 people participated in. 

Aurora, Nora's mother, had two baby cubs, but only one survived. The survival rate for polar bears is 50 percent, according to the Columbus Zoo.

Because of the melting of the polar ice caps, the polar bear population of 20,000 to 25,000 could dwindle to less than 10,000 by 2050. 

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.