PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Zoo has a new polar bear. Her name is Amelia Gray, she's 5 years old and she comes to Portland from the Maryland Zoo.
Amelia Gray is also the half-sister of Nora, the Oregon Zoo's beloved polar bear. The two sisters have never met, zoo officials said, and they hope to eventually introduce the bears to each other.
"Polar bears have a pretty solitary nature, but we do hope these two will form a positive relationship," said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo polar bear area.
Amelia Gray was born Nov. 8, 2016 at the Columbus Zoo. Two years ago, she moved to the Maryland Zoo and now she's familiarizing herself with the Oregon Zoo's new Polar Passage habitat.
The zoo did not say when caregivers plan to introduce Amelia Gray and Nora to each other. They said it's up to the two bears.
"We hope visitors will be able to see the bears playing together soon, but that will really be up to them," Cutting said. "Amelia Gray is not as outgoing as Nora, according to her keepers, and she likes to have some 'alone time' — so we plan to give her as much space as she needs to settle in and be comfortable in her new home."
The zoo said that Amelia's last name refers to a small patch of gray fur along the left side of her neck. Her first name, which means "defender," is a reference to "her role as an ambassador for an endangered species and a unique physical marking," the zoo said in a news release.