You may have read about this baby Pacific Walrus in October, here on Zooborns.com. This orphaned male calf was found in July off the northern coast of Alaska and rescued when he was estimated to be only 4-6 weeks old — far too young to be without his mother — and suffering from dehydration and lice.
He was taken in by the Alaska SeaLife Center, which provides care for sick and injured marine animals. Almost immediately the calf showed a very curious personality, so the SeaLife Center staff named him Pakak (PACK’-ACK), which means 'one that gets into everything' in the northern Alaskan dialect of Inupiaq (ee-NYOOP-ee-ak).
Walrus are very tactile and social animals, and the dedicated staff and caretakers at the SeaLife Center provided the social interaction that a Walrus calf would otherwise seek from other Walrus. As a result, Walrus calves almost immediately adjust to human care and therefore are not candidates for release back into the wild following rehabilitation.
Because the SeaLife Center is it not large enough to be the permanent home to all the wildlife it rescues, the Indianapolis Zoo was selected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be selected as Pakak's permanent home. Zoo Marine Mammal Trainer Shauna Gallagher was sent in advance to Alaska to bond with Pakak befoe bringing him to his new home.
Photo Credit: Indianapolis Zoo
Once in Indianapolis, he recieved tender loving care by keepers behind the scenes as he adjusted and got even stronger. He was quarrantined, as is typical, for 30 days, before joining the zoo's other Walrus Aurora. And the newest news is that he just recently became ready to make his public debut. On December 5 he went out on exhibit and has charmed zoo guests ever since.