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Thousands show up at Columbus Zoo to see Nora one last time

A crowd of thousands lines up at the Columbus Zoo Monday for Nora's last day before the beloved bear heads to Oregon. Some waited as long as an hour (WSYX/WTTE)

Nora, the beloved polar bear hand-raised at the Columbus Zoo, is heading west. Zoo staff are now working to prepare the 10-month-old bear for her cross country journey to Oregon, after one last day in front of the crowds.

Thousands of people went to the zoo Monday, for Nora's last public appearance in Ohio. At one point, the line stretched from the front gate all way to the polar bear exhibit. Some were willing to wait, even though they'd seen her before.

"She's so cute. You don't see a lot of polar bears; I think this was the first cub they had," said Katie Gastaldo, who has visited Nora six times. "It's cool to watch her grow and get bigger."

The cub, who weighed about a pound at first, has grown into a 170-pound big bear kid, still impressing visitors with her antics.

Staff members from the Oregon Zoo are already in Columbus, getting acquainted with Nora. Some of her caregivers from the Columbus Zoo will also make the trip out to Oregon with Nora to help the transition.

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