Be My Pet: Mitik, The “Fat, Mustachioed” Orphaned Baby Walrus

I didn’t realize until I saw this photo of Mitik how badly my life is in need of a walrus companion. Mitik is 15 months old, 234 pounds, and an orphan. He was found in the waters of Alaska in late-July and was nursed back to health at a facility there before being transferred this week to the Brooklyn Aquarium, where I will visit him on the regular once he’s out of quarantine. Mitik is, by all accounts, a total sweetheart.

“If Mit is resting with his head on my lap, sucking my fingers, looking sweetly into my eyes, and Pak [another orphaned walrus that, sadly, is not getting quite as much attention] comes anywhere near us, he pops up, yells at Pak and tries to head-butt him,” Martha Hiatt, the aquarium’s behavioral husbandry supervisor, told The New York Times. “Then he’ll turn to me and be all cuddly again. We say he is small, but scrappy — the perfect New Yorker.”

Two other, older walruses live at the aquarium, and one of them — 17-year-old Kulu — may end up being Mit’s older girlfriend. They’ll be introduced as soon as Mit’s quarantine is over, but whether there will be a romantic connection, and possible future babies between them, remains to be seen. The first priority is making sure Mitik is happy and healthy in his new home. [NY Times]