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Walruses

Did you know?

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

EXCITING NEWS: We have two new walruses, Balzak (pronounced bell’-zik) and Lakina (pronounced la-kee’-na)! Come meet them. As the walruses adjust to their new home, they will have access to both public and off-exhibit areas. If you cannot see them, you may hear them whistling, bubbling, blowing or making other loud noises.

Discover Walruses

Meet the New Walruses
Walruses Balzak (pronounced bell’-zik) and Lakina (pronounced la-kee’-na), born just weeks apart, are 6-year-old half-siblings 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
Habitat
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

Balzak
Lakina
Eating
(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.
Whistling
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

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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New Walruses Arrive

They were born just weeks apart six years ago and have been closely bonded ever since. And now, the two young walruses have moved together from Aquarium du Québec to … Continued

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Bullets and Blindness: Björn’s Bravery and Battle to Survive

Björn (pronounced bee-yorn), the sea lion, is definitely a fighter. The 11-year-old sea lion was rescued off the coast of southern California in December 2019 and brought to a rehabilitation … 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.