Nora the polar bear recovering after breaking her leg while playing at Utah zoo

Image credit: Utah's Hogle Zoo

SALT LAKE CITY – Nora, a polar bear born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 2015, is recovering from a broken leg at a zoo in Utah.

The Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City announced on Facebook earlier this month that Nora, a visitor favorite while she was in Columbus, broke her humerus bone in her right front leg.

The bone is between her shoulder and elbow.

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The zoo thinks this happened because she likes to roughhouse while playing.

"She's a very rambunctious bear. It's not unusual to watch her head-dive into the snow without any hesitation. She just plays rough,” her keeper Kaleigh said.

Image credit: Utah's Hogle Zoo/

Nora had surgery on Feb. 4 after the zoo consulted with other zoos and specialists about bone breaks in young bears.

The zoo said Nora had metabolic bone disease as a cub, but her team in Utah believed Nora was a good candidate for surgery.

Surgeons tend to Nora in the final stages of prep before surgery (Image credit: Utah's Hogle Zoo)

One day after the surgery, the zoo said Nora was doing great.

A couple of days later, the zoo provided another update, saying Nora is eating well and taking her pain meds.

On Feb. 12, the zoo said Nora is continuing to protect her leg and that is a good sign. She is able to put a little bit of weight on her leg and her surgeons and veterinarians are pleased.

"Nora is one of the most special, most charismatic animals of our Hogle Zoo family," said Dr. Erika Crook, Hogle Zoo Associate Veterinarian.

Nora was moved to Oregon in 2016 and to Utah in 2017.

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