Walrus Awareness WeekDecember 4, 2017
In our minds there isn’t just a week dedicated to walruses, because we strive to bring awareness to these amazing animals every single day. We have the amazing privilege to work with not one, not two, but four walruses at Wild Arctic. And this year, Walrus Awareness Week means that much more to us as we welcomed our first ever walrus calf Ginger and then Aku, a rescued walrus calf, to our Arctic family.
As animal trainers we often get asked the question “what is it like to work with a walrus” and the simple answer is AMAZING! Working with an animal that weighs hundreds of pounds is awe-inspiring, but when you are talking about thousands of pounds its next level. And their personalities are just as large as they are!
Now let's get to the awareness part! What we've learned over the years is that overall knowledge about walruses is low. We often overhear guests guessing as to what Garfield and Kaboodle are when they see them on habitat. Here's a quick list of 5 interesting walrus facts that could easily come up in small talk (at least in our world).
- Walruses are pinnipeds, but they aren't alone as seals and sea lions are included in this scientific classification.
- Walrus flippers are hairless. The skin on the soles of the walrus' flippers is thick and rough, providing traction on land and ice.
- A walrus has about 400 to 700 vibrissae (whiskers) in 13 to 15 rows on its snout. Vibrissae are attached to muscles and are supplied with blood and nerves.
- Most walruses have 18 teeth. A walrus' upper canine teeth are modified into long ivory tusks.
- The ears of a walrus are located just behind the eyes, and are small inconspicuous openings with no external ear flaps.
Now we challenge you to see if your friends and family know these interesting facts about walruses! Spread the word about these amazing animals and come see them up-close at Wild Arctic.