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

7-29-12: A male walrus calf was found off shore, trying to climb aboard a vessel. With authorization from USFWS, the calf was pulled on board. He was visibly underweight, and without his mother anywhere in sight.

7-30-12: The calf was transported to Anchorage by the US Coast Guard, where ASLC staff drove the last leg to Seward. Once at the SeaLife Center, he was evaluated by veterinarian staff and blood work was run. The calf was given an injection of antibiotics to fight off an infection, indicated by a high white blood cell count.

7-31-12: The walrus calf has been slurping up fluids from a dish since he's arrived at the ASLC. Today he received x-rays to determine the cause of a swollen rear flipper. There are no evident injuries.

8-2-12: The calf is quickly gaining strength, but his condition is still guarded. He is continuing a course of antibiotics to fight off an infection.

8-5-12: The calf is extremely close to learning to suckle from a bottle. In the meantime, he is still being tube fed in order to meet his nutritional needs.

8-9-12: This walrus calf has a few more obstacles to overcome than the first one of the season. He's been having trouble passing feces and urine. Additional fluids are being administered in order to help things pass through.

8-10-12: A catheter has been placed to allow urine to continually pass from the calf's body, making him much more comfortable.

8-15-12: Today a specialist came to the ASLC's rehab facility, and performed a procedure called laparoscopy. A small camera was inserted into the calf's bladder in order to see what might be causing his trouble to urinate. The real-time images did not reveal any permanent damage to the organ that would cause his symptoms.

8-19-12: Over the past few days, the calf has begun to urinate more frequently on his own. He is getting frequent ultrasounds on his bladder to measure the volume of urine in his system.

8-21-12: Today the calf began to suckle on his own! This is a very exciting milestone for his caretakers, who have been working day and night to get him eating.

8-26-12: The calf moved into the I.Sea.U with Walrus calf 1 today. His new friend is interested in him, but he's not quite sure what to make of it yet.

9-1-12: Both walrus calves now have names! Mitik was chosen for this little guy. Mitik is starting to become more interactive with the other calf (named Pakak).

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

9-14-12: Mitik is starting to put on some weight! This morning he broke 210 lbs.

9-22-12: This past week, Mitik has been increasingly active and playful. He and Pakak spend much of their time awake in the pool together. Mitik weighed in this morning at 226 lbs.

9-26-12: Today both walruses had a full veterinary exam, which required sedation due to their size and strength. They both did well, and Mitik seems to have recovered from the sedation quickly.

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.

10-5-12: Mitik is doing great in his new location. He loves swimming, and never wants to get out of the pool.

10-9-10: The boys are going to their new homes tomorrow! Mitik will be moving to New York Aquarium, where he will be integrated into their walrus program over time.

 



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