Stranded Walrus Calf Rescued From Alaskan Lagoon [VIDEO]

By Amir Khan on July 28, 2012 1:30 PM EDT

Walrus
Researchers rescued a Pacific Walrus calf that was stranded in a lagoon near Barrow, Alaska. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Researchers rescued a Pacific Walrus calf that was stranded in a lagoon near Barrow, Alaska. They took the calf to the Alaska SeaLife Center to be cared for by handlers.

The male calf is estimated to be between 4 and 6 weeks old and likely became separated from its group as they floated on sea ice near Barrow in early July.  Staff members say the calf is in good health.

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"Walrus are incredibly tactile, social animals, said Stranding Coordinator Tim Lebing told the Alaska Journal. "Walrus calves typically spend about two years with their mothers, so we have to step in to provide that substitute care and companionship."

Walruses typically weight between 1,800 and 3,700 pounds, but have been seen weighing as much as 4,400 pounds. They can grow up to 12 feet long. Their most prominent feature is their long tusks, which are used for fighting and can be up to 3 feet long.

The calf is the first at the Alaska SeaLife Center since 2007. Before then, the center cared for four between 2003 and 2007.

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