Rescued 200-Pound Walrus Calf Receiving Round-The-Clock ‘Cuddling’ In Attempt To Keep The 1-Month-Old Alive

[Screenshot/Associated Press]

John Oyewale Contributor
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A male Pacific walrus calf found stranded and alone Monday by oil field workers in Alaska was rescued and has been receiving care, including bottle feeding and cuddling, at a marine wildlife center, the Associated Press (AP) reported Friday.

The as-yet-unnamed 200-pound wrinkly-skinned, one-month-old calf was found far off from the ocean on the North Slope and flown Tuesday across at least 700 miles to the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) in Seward, according to the AP News report. Staff at the marine research and wildlife response facility reportedly have been offering the baby walrus “round the clock ‘cuddling’,” providing it with “the option to have a warm body to lean up against, which he has been taking advantage of almost constantly.” (RELATED: ‘Near Perfect’: Man Captures Video Of Whales Leaping Out Of Water In Extremely Rare Event)

The calf was seen snuggling up to an ALSC staff and being bottle-fed in a video published by the AP.

The 24-hour care routine was adopted to mimic the maternal bonding walrus calves receive in the wild from their mothers during the first two years of their lives, ALSC said in a statement released Thursday. ALSC’s veterinary team found the rescued calf was malnourished and dehydrated and had a cloudy eye, with bloodwork suggesting the calf was fighting an infection, the statement continued.

The Center reportedly last had a walrus patient four years ago and has had only 10 in its 25 years of existence. “We are lucky that his first night went well. It isn’t often that we’re able to admit a walrus calf, but every time we do, we learn more about the species and how to care for them,” said ASLC Wildlife Response Curator Jane Belovarac, per the statement.

The calf is not currently available for public viewing but “may be relocated to an area with limited public viewing as his condition improves,” the ALSC statement noted.