: Pakak :
Species: Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)
  Narrative

7-21-12: A male walrus calf has been observed alone for over two days in North Salt Lagoon in Barrow, AK. The calf is presumed to have been separated from a large group of walrus that were sighted passing Barrow on floating ice on July 17. With approval from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), staff of the North Slope Borough’s Department of Wildlife Management facilitated the rescue.

7-22-12: Two Alaska SeaLife Center staff traveled to Barrow early this morning 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 (NAC). In Anchorage, NAC also assisted in transferring the walrus to a specially-equipped truck for the 125 mile trip to Seward.

7-23-12: Upon admit, the walrus calf was moderately dehydrated and was found to have lice. The lice have been treated and should be cleared up within a few days. He is estimated to be 4-6 weeks old - far too young to be without his mother. In the wild, walrus will stay with their mothers for up to two years or more.

7-24-12: The calf is beginning to get the hang of suckling on a bottle. He is being fed about 1.5 liters of formula every three hours, around the clock.

7-26-12: Walrus are very tactile and social animals. Dedicated staff and caretakers are providing the social interaction that he would otherwise be seeking from other walrus. Walrus calves almost immediately habituate to human care and therefore are not candidates for release following rehabilitation.

7-28-12: The calf is spending some time playing in his new kiddie pool today! As he begins to improve, he becomes more and more curious.

7-31-12: The walrus calf is suckling great, and he is gaining weight at a good rate.

8-5-12: The calf is stable and continues to interact well with his caretakers.

8-9-12: The calf has a new room to eat, sleep and play in! He appears to be enjoying it quite a bit. He can currently be seen at the Alaska SeaLife Center's new I.Sea.U critical care unit.

8-15-12: The calf has been doing great in the I.Sea.U. One of his favorite things to do is play with the spray from a hose, or in his pool.

8-21-12: Walrus 1 has continued to do well in his new accommodations. He eats well, is gaining weight steadily and is becoming increasingly more playful.

8-26-12: The walrus calf has a new roommate! Walrus calf 2 has joined him in the I.Sea.U. 1 is interested in spending some time with his new friend, but 2 doesn't seem quite up to it yet.

9-1-12: Both walrus calves now have names! Pakak - meaning "One that gets into everything" in Inupiaq - was chosen for this calf. Caretakers report his name is fitting.

9-10-12: Pakak and Mitik's interactions increase every day. They can now be frequently seen cuddling during naps.

9-14-12: Pakak has been playing hard today! He enjoys spending time in the pool playing with toys or the hose.

9-22-12: Pakak is learning his boundaries. Despite their size difference, he and Mitik have been getting along very well.

9-26-12: Today both walruses had a full veterinary exam, which required sedation due to their size and strength. They both did well, although Pakak is still groggy tonight.

9-27-12: Pakak and Mitik were moved to a new location which will better suit their needs. They now have a pool which they can frequently swim in while supervised.

10-2-12: Pakak hasn't been feeling well for the past few days. His digestive system has been off, and he hasn't been eating well. Today, however, he seems to be feeling much better, as he's eating well again and is acting more like himself.

10-5-12: His caretakers are happy to report that Pakak is acting like his old self again. This also means he's once again causing as much trouble as he can.

10-9-10: The boys are going to their new homes tomorrow! Pakak will be moving to Indianapolis Zoo, where he will be integrated into their walrus program over time.

 



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