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Orphaned Walrus Calf Being Nursed To Health At New York Aquarium

Mitik The Walrus Calf

Mitik the walrus calf. (Credit: New York Aquarium)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An orphaned walrus calf is being nursed back to health at the New York City aquarium, and has already won fans from around the world.

The Coney Island aquarium earlier this month welcomed Mitik, a male walrus calf who was discovered by Alaskan fishermen in July with another unrelated orphaned calf several miles off the coast near Barrow, Alaska.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended sending Mitik to the New York Aquarium, and the other orphaned walrus calf – Panak – to the Indianapolis Zoo, the aquarium said.

Back when Mitik first began receiving care from staff at the Alaska SeaLife Center in July, caregivers were worried that the animal might not survive, the aquarium said. Mitik suffered from a bladder infection, dehydration and a high white blood cell count.

But under constant care from New York Aquarium staff, the 236-pound baby walrus has been responding to medications and has been gaining up to half a pound per day, the aquarium said.

“We’re ecstatic to have him,” Wildlife Conservation Society vice president and New York Aquarium director Jon Forrest Dohlin told 1010 WINS. “Our staff is working very, very hard around the clock – both our veterinary staff and our animal husbandry staff – and he’s doing great, so we couldn’t be happier.”

The New York Aquarium, at Surf Avenue and West 8th Street just off the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, is one of the few American institutions in the country that exhibits walruses. The aquarium has two other walruses – Nuka, 30, and Kulu, 17.

Will you be coming to see Mitik when makes his public debut? Leave your comments below…