I originally posted on this topic some months ago here (What Does a Walrus Sound Like?) but I just now discovered a great new interview via NOVA Science Now that will really give you a complete picture of the types of sounds a walrus makes. This is from the walruses at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA – where you may be aware they are awaiting the imminent and very rare birth of a walrus calf! This is a great audio/photo feature.
The interactive feature is packed with GORGEOUS walrus photos, lots of info thanks to trainer Leah Coombs of Six Flags and Dr. Colleen Reichmuth of UC Santa Cruz. This is old, it’s from ’09 but it’s new to me, and likely new to you too. Sivuqaq and Uquq, two of the featured walruses, are today’s expectant parents!
Here’s the link to the interview (transcript and audio) over at PBS.com/Nova
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!