The New York Aquarium recently welcomed an orphaned walrus calf who was found by fishermen off the coast of Alaska this past summer.
The calf, named Mitik, had been in the care of the Alaska SeaLife Center since July. Both Matlik and another walrus named Pakak, somehow became separated from the rest of the heard. Caregivers at the Alaska SeaLife Center were worried that Mitik might not survive due to complications from a bladder infection, an elevated white blood cell count, and dehydration. Around the clock care from both veterinary and animal husbandry staff at the center has helped to put Matlik on the road to recovery however.
Matlik is very thankful for the wonderful care he received at the center, snuggling up to caregivers as often as possible. In an Anchorage Daily News video, both Matlik and Pakak can be seen cuddling with staff members.
Mitik the orphaned walrus.
After nearly three months of treatment, Mitlik was deemed healthy enough to be transported to the New York Aquarium on Coney Island.
Although Mitlik was considered healthy enough for transport, walrus calves still require constant care. Unfortunately, Coney Island was in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy and fell victim to her wrath. All 14 acres of the park was submerged under flood waters. Despite all the warnings associated with Sandy, and the very real threat of serious flooding, the aquarium staff in charge of Mitlik's care stayed with him throughout the night as Sandy tore through New York and New Jersey.
Jim Breheny, Aquarium Executive Vice President, told HyperVocal:
“We have been monitoring his condition carefully since his arrival and continued this around-the-clock care throughout the duration of the storm."
According to the Today Show, Matlik and his caregivers made it through the storm safe and sound, and Matlik continues to gain strength with each passing day.