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Adults Only! Walrus babies the goal of new scientific research

Photo: Karen T Borchers, San Jose Mercury News

The folks at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA are trying to breed walruses. This is a challenge. Why? Well, according to marine mammal reproductive physiologist Holley Muraco….

The love lives of Pacific Walruses have long been shrouded in secrecy. They mate underwater, at remote, vast and icy habitats, during the Arctic Circle’s longest and darkest nights.

And there is growing concern for their survival because sea ice is melting. Zoos don’t want to collect from these perilous wild populations, and seek instead to increase the genetic diversity of their captive populations.

In the eight decades that walruses have been kept captive, only 11 babies have been born; of those, merely six survived. Fewer than 20 now exist in American zoos, and many are aging, Muraco said.

An then it gets… interesting… So if you’re in the mood to break up your day reading about the R&D process behind manufacturing a walrus sex-toy that allows for some REALLY impressive girth… Like I said – this one’s not for the kids!

Here’s the link to the full article on the Mercury News Site which includes a nice photo gallery:
http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_16991027

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