In 2012, the Alaska SeaLife Center rehabilitated a male Pacific walrus calf who presumably got separated from his family. The calf, estimated at four to six weeks old, was found by local fishermen who spotted the calf in North Salt Lagoon.
After a period of observation from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), staff of the North Slope Borough’s Department of Wildlife Management facilitated the rescue. Two Center staff went to evaluate the animal, already under the watchful eye of a local veterinarian. Air transportation from Barrow to Anchorage for the 200-pound animal was provided by Northern Air Cargo.
Walruses are extremely social. A walrus mother even holds her baby like a human would! Calves typically spend two to three years bonding with their mothers, so it was very important for the team to provide all the love and care his biological mom would. And what do you know — this baby wants a hug more than anything else! Judging from the epic cuddle session, it looks like these heroes gained the baby’s trust. Walruses are officially my new favorite animal.
Thank you for being such good caretakers! Now, can I get in for a cuddle? I want a job snuggling baby walruses!
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