Polar bear cub celebrates 1st birthday at Columbus Zoo

POWELL, OH (WCMH) – Amelia Gray the polar bear cub celebrated her first birthday at the Columbus Zoo on Wednesday.

Staff threw her a birthday party, complete with a cake and treats. At just one-year-old, she already weighs 289 pounds.

“It’s a big milestone for us. It’s been a very exciting year, watching her grow, watching her develop,” said Polar Frontier curator Carrie Pratt.

She said Amelia Gray is one of only three polar bears born in a North American zoological facility in 2016.

The other two cubs, twins Neva and Nuniq, were also born at the Columbus Zoo. They’ll have their own birthday party on November 14th.

“Polar bear cub survivorship is very low, only about 50%. That’s both in zoos and also out in the wild,” said Pratt. “About 50% survive to their first birthday, so it’s very exciting.”

And it’s not a proper birthday celebration without a cake.

“It’s half fish meal ground up and half flour in it, so half of their regular polar bear chow diet. It also has peanut butter in it, a little bit of molasses,” said animal nutrition assistant Jessica Roarty.

She said the icing is made of ground up whiting and krill for the trim, dyed with a little food coloring to make it pop.

“The base, we did a thin layer of peanut butter and then we spiraled carrots, zucchini and butternut squash,” said Roarty.

After enjoying her cake, Amelia Gray enjoyed playing with the cardboard box it was placed on with dozens of adoring fans watching her.

“We share that love of polar bears as a family and it was important to come celebrate today,” said visitor Kelly Helbig.

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