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Welcome, New Walruses

Balzak and Lakina are here!

We recently welcomed two new six-year-old walruses to the Zoo: Balzak (pronounced bell’-zik) and Lakina (pronounced la-kee’-na)!

Walruses love company. In the wild they huddle together on shore in the hundreds, piled up like puppies.

Discover Walruses

Meet the New Walruses
Walruses Balzak (pronounced bell’-zik) and Lakina (pronounced la-kee’-na), were born just weeks apart and have been together their entire lives. Lakina is more inquisitive and curious while Balzak is more reserved and patient, and they are both quick learners.
Meet the Keepers
Meet our keepers every day we’re open at the Marine Mammal Keeper Chat. They’ll be somewhere around the walruses, sea lions, seals or otters – bring your questions and watch them work!
Daily Schedule
Wild and Zoo
Walruses are found in the icy Arctic waters. They prefer to haul out on polar ice but will use small rocky islands when ice isn’t available. Find ours in Rocky Shores.
Rocky Shores

Meet our Walruses

(and predators!)
Walruses love to eat clams, using their stiff whiskers to feel around the ocean floor for tasty ones. They’ll also eat other seafood.
Their main predators are orcas, polar bears and humans.
for a mate.
From December-March, the males (bulls) compete for a harem of females (cows). Male courtship often includes piercing whistles.
Cows usually have one baby every three years, after a 15-16-month pregnancy. Newborns stay with their mom for at least 2 years.
Pale in water
pink on land.
Walruses are huge. Between 7-12 feet long, the males can weigh up to 5,000 pounds, with females topping out at 2,700.
In water they become pale as their blood vessels contract to protect them against icy cold. On land they turn pink as the blood vessels dilate, allowing heat to escape.

Protecting walruses

The ice is melting.

THE THREAT: Walruses were severely overhunted in the 18th century. Now, climate change is their biggest threat. As Arctic ice melts, walruses must swim longer distances and expend precious energy to reach their food supply.

TAKE ACTION: You can help walruses in the wild by donating to the Zoo Society’s Dr. Holly Reed Conservation Fund and by reducing your carbon footprint.

Marine Stories

Penguin Nesting Season

It’s that time of year again! Our Magellanic penguins have found their mates and are ready for nesting. In April, keepers observed our penguin pairs snuggling in their nests. It … Continued

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Top Rainy Day Activities At The Zoo

When it’s wet and cold outside, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and meet amazing animals! Warm, Indoor Aquarium The Pacific Seas Aquarium is … Continued

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Walrus Lakina Gets A Protective Tusk Crown

Lakina, our new female walrus, wears custom-made crowns to help protect her two tusks. Lakina did an excellent job holding still long enough for one of her crowns to be … Continued

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Who's nearby?
Wild about walruses? Then spot our sea lions! They alternate with the harbor seals in the other pools at Rocky Shores.