200 Pounds of Cute
August 4, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Rescued Alaskan Walrus Calf Charms Caretakers (YouTube, bad music warning)"He’s sweet, snuggly and loves a good bottle," writes Amy Sinatra Ayres, for VetStreet.com.

At 200 pounds, the orphaned walrus, rescued by hunters in the ocean near Barrow on July 21, is getting around-the-clock care at the Alaska SeaLife Center, in Seward, and is also one very big baby. “Walruses are incredibly tactile, social animals,” says the center's stranding coordinator Tim Lebling.

More on the Pacific Walrus.

Walruses previously on Metafilter.
posted by spitbull (33 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, and "a good bottle" is 1.5 liters of formula every 3 hours.
posted by spitbull at 12:28 PM on August 4, 2012


Whoah:
Growing up to 3,750 pounds, male Pacific walruses are larger than females and measure approximately 10 feet long.
Damn. He could kill a human completely by accident. If he stays snuggly, they're going to need spotters.
posted by Malor at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love the sight of this little guy wanting lap time. It's like a black lab who was never taught that he wasn't a lapdog and can't just crawl up on you. Except that phase is still in the future, and will also involve tusks.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:59 PM on August 4, 2012


"Walrus are incredibly tactile, social animals. Walrus calves typically spend about two years with their mothers, so we have to step in to provide that substitute care and companionship."

I'm so glad that there are brave marine scientists out there who are willing to make the incredible personal sacrifice of being paid to cuddle an affectionate baby walrus for hours on end. It's a thankless and unrewarding job, I'm sure. The things we do for science.

By the way if you have any openings for a professional walrus-cuddler I'd be happy to forward my résumé. I'm sure that it's a very trying occupation, but never let it be said that I was unwilling to step up to the plate for the sake of science.
posted by Scientist at 12:59 PM on August 4, 2012 [18 favorites]


It's a funny place we have in the grand scheme of things, isn't it?
posted by tommasz at 1:05 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a funny place we have in the grand scheme of things, isn't it?

That place being, apparently, under a walrus.

posted by Tomorrowful at 1:07 PM on August 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's a funny place we have in the grand scheme of things, isn't it?
posted by tommasz at 9:05 PM on August 4


Not once you realise there is no grand scheme of things. Then it just becomes... okay.
posted by Decani at 1:09 PM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


They got another one the other day so now they have two baby walrus. Hardly seems fair.
posted by fshgrl at 1:55 PM on August 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


He could kill a human completely by accident. If he stays snuggly, they're going to need spotters.
posted by Malor


Spotters, or skittles.
posted by 445supermag at 1:57 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


They got another one the other day so now they have two baby walrus.

Okay so where is the video of them snuggling together??
posted by Mizu at 2:00 PM on August 4, 2012


I keep going back to the 1:40 mark to watch the final cuddle. I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOU, SQUEEZABLE WALRUS.
posted by but no cigar at 2:05 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


two baby walrus

walri
walres
walroi
walrae
walruseseses
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:17 PM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


The video pretty much makes it impossible for that final warning screen to have any effect:

"If you see a stranded marine animal, do not pick it up. Call first!"

Um, no. Sorry. I'm keeping my snuggly walrus!
posted by ronofthedead at 2:52 PM on August 4, 2012


Um, no. Sorry. I'm keeping my snuggly walrus!

Are you trained to recognize the savage, biting mirowalrus? No? Then leave the unidentified marine mammal snuggling to professional marine snugglers. The face you save may be your own.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:58 PM on August 4, 2012


The plural of "walrus" is "walrus". Walrus walrus walrus walrus walrus walrus walrus buffalo buffalo buffalo.
posted by Scientist at 3:11 PM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


In case none of you have ever seen polar bear vs. walrus battles, there's a lot of good footage of them out there. Here's one from BBC. I've linked it to a particularly epic phase of the confrontation, but the whole thing is worth watching. Cutie pie is evolved for a world red in tooth and claw. And yeah, the big guys get to be the size of an SUV. They can be very aggressive when threatened, and they have killed native hunters (by sinking their boats).

You gotta be very careful around walrus herds, or even the occasional loner that shows up to bask on the beach.
posted by spitbull at 3:12 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ach, I just reminded myself of my favorite "embarrassing dad joke". It goes like this:


"A walrus walks into a bar, and he says to the bartender: ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ORK! ..."

Continue until someone makes you stop.
posted by Scientist at 3:16 PM on August 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


My point being, Scientist, that walruses, for some reason, can't take a joke. *Especially* a walrus joke. Just saying.
posted by spitbull at 3:18 PM on August 4, 2012


Walrus are incredibly tactile

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 3:26 PM on August 4, 2012


(YouTube, bad music warning)

Mute the YouTube and crank up the Lennon.

goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob
posted by hal9k at 4:09 PM on August 4, 2012


Somewhere a polar bear is starving.
posted by delmoi at 5:00 PM on August 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love the bit where the Trained Walrus Snuggler is scooting around on a rolly platform, legs out in front of him, feet crossed, holding his arms in close to his body... which looked like laziness/chill to me at first, but then it dawned on me it might be deliberate, to simulate walrussy-ness?
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:15 PM on August 4, 2012


My dad and Scientist's dad are clearly long lost relatives, because I know a joke that goes,

"A whale walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'Hey buddy, you look kinda down, what's up?' The whale gets up on the table and says:

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowweeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo .....
[dramatic pause for breath so everyone thinks you're done]
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
ooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeee...."*

Continue until someone hurts you.

*transcribing whale song is surprisingly tricky
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:12 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mother of God I had no idea I would break the comments by doing that. Mods I am so sorry.
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:13 PM on August 4, 2012


[Added line breaks, no worries. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 6:16 PM on August 4, 2012


Huh. I heard this one like this:

Two whales walk into a bar. One says: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowweeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo .....
[dramatic pause for breath so everyone thinks you're done]
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
ooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeee....

The other whale says, "Shut up Frank, you're drunk."
posted by workerant at 7:09 PM on August 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm probably weird to think this but I wonder what a walrus feels like.
posted by deborah at 10:26 PM on August 4, 2012


I happen to be visiting Seward, Alaska this very minute and planned a trip to the Alaska SeaLife Center for tomorrow. Will report back if there were opportunity for walrus snuggles or just walrus pictures.
posted by ruhroh at 11:51 PM on August 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I once had a short but meaningful relationship with an Octopus at the Seward Sealife Center. It was a beautiful thing.
posted by jvilter at 8:15 AM on August 5, 2012


How does a walrus feel? Well, I've only ever touched (quite a few) dead ones, but the hide is both tougher than steel (and very, very thick) and backed by huge rolls of fat, so it's sort of surreal to touch something so hard and yet squishy.

But what you remember is the face. The whiskers are like metal needles on an older animal, literally it feels like running your hand over a wire brush, and you could see how a snuggle could be a skin-removing experience.
posted by spitbull at 9:08 AM on August 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


They got another one the other day so now they have two baby walrus.

I'm so glad; I was worrying about how a 2-ton creature was going to get its snuggles once it outgrew humans.

snuggles.
posted by endless_forms at 2:35 PM on August 6, 2012


Thanks for the info, spitbull.

Part of what stirred my curiosity is I have touched a dolphin (wet, cold, smooth leather) and wondered what the difference is.
posted by deborah at 8:13 PM on August 6, 2012


Sorry to report metafilter that the walrus is behind closed doors and not viewable to the public. There was a harbor seal though, not nearly as cute but just as squishy and blubbery!
posted by ruhroh at 11:05 PM on August 6, 2012


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