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Hogle Zoo polar bear breaks her leg

Photo: Courtesy of Hogle Zoo

A polar bear at Utah’s Hogle Zoo broke a bone in her front, right leg on Wednesday.

The zoo believes the injury was caused by the polar bear’s “signature style of roughhouse play.”

The 500-lb. polar bear, Nora, is on pain medications and will undergo surgery.

On Thursday morning, zoo keepers found that Nora was unwilling to move.

After two days of close monitoring, Nora underwent an X-ray where it was confirmed that she broke her humerus bone.

The injury prevents Nora from being able to walk.

Nora, a three-year-old bear, is still considered a cub.

“She just plays rough,” Lead Keeper Kaleigh Jablonski says. “She’s a very rambunctious bear.”

Hole Zoo says that veterinarians with the zoo consulted with other specialists across the country regarding broken bones in young bears like Nora.

The surgery will involve a human orthopedic surgeon from the University of Utah Medical Center. The surgery will also include a large animal orthopedic team from Texas A&M and a veterinary anesthesiologist from North Carolina State University.

The procedure will last for nearly an entire day. The surgical team will use heavy-duty orthopedic materials such as plates, screws, pins, and nails.

During Nora’s recovery period she will require further X-rays which will necessitate additional use of anesthetic procedures.

A press release from Hogle Zoo states that Nora will not be on exhibit for the next several months.

“Nora is one of the most special, most charismatic animals of our Hogle Zoo family,” said Dr. Erika Crook, Hogle Zoo Associate Veterinarian. “We have reached out far and wide to find experts to give her the best chance possible to get back on her feet. She’s in very good hands.”

Nora has been at Hogle Zoo since the fall of 2017.