Two orphaned walruses head to zoos in the Lower 48

A 234-pound baby walrus is coming to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium in Brooklyn.

The 15-week mammal was rescued from the ocean off Alaska in July.

The New York Times says the aquarium is set to welcome the walrus, named Mitik, Thursday.

The Coney Island aquarium is only one of a few institutions in the country that exhibit walruses. It has two other walruses. Nuka is 30 years old and Kulu is 17.

Mitik was found by a hunting vessel several miles offshore. Initially, he suffered from bladder problems and was unable to take a bottle. The Alaska SeaLife Center says he’s now putting on a pound daily.

He will spend a month in quarantine at the aquarium’s medical facility and join the exhibit next spring.

He’s not the only walrus orphan heading to the lower 48.

An orphaned baby walrus rescued this summer off the coast of Alaska has found a new home at the Indianapolis Zoo.

The male walrus named Pakak was suffering from dehydration and infested with lice when he was rescued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. He had become separated in July from a group of about 1,000 walruses off Alaska’s northern coast.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Pakak weighed 250 pounds and was about 4 to 6 weeks old, making him too young to be without his mother.

He’s currently housed at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, pending his departure for the Indianapolis Zoo.

His trip to Indianapolis has not yet been scheduled, but once he arrives at the zoo he’ll be placed in a 30-day quarantine.



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