A 268-pound baby walrus is now on display at the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, after 13-year-old Kulusiq gave birth to her first calf -- one of only 10 baby walruses ever born in captivity.
At 115 pounds, and 44-inches long, his was a birth only a mother walrus could love.
The calfs mother and father were originally rescued as babies themselves from the waters off St. Lawrence Island in Alaska on May 19, 1994. Their names, "Kulusiq," or iceberg, and "Ayveq," or walrus, were drawn from the Siberian Yupik language.
Kulusiq and Ayveq now weigh 1,800 and 2,700 pounds, respectively. Male walruses can grow to 12 feet long, while adult females grow up to 10 feet long. In nature, a female walrus typically breeds once every two years, giving birth to a single calf in the spring. Kulu will nurse her calf for 18 to 24 months.
Visitors to the Aquarium can see Kulu and the baby, in a pool that adjoins the habitat for Ayveq and Nuka, another adult female Pacific walrus. Only half the walruses born in captivity have survived. For those outside the New York metro area, photos and video of the baby walrus, including scenes of its June 12 birth, are available on the Wildlife Conservation Society Web site http://nyaquarium.com/babywalrus.
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