It's a walrus! A Canadian first: the birth of a baby walrus in a zoological environment

QUÉBEC, May 7, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the entire team at the Aquarium du Québec is overjoyed. Arnaliaq just gave birth to the baby we have all been waiting for. Last March 9, Sépaq announced that two female walruses at the Aquarium du Québec were pregnant. The first baby was born today. This is an extremely rare event, being that this is just the 7th pregnancy carried to term since 1930 in North America. And it's the first birth in Canada. There are only some thirty walruses living in zoological environment in the entire world. So this event is of great interest for both scientists and the general public.

Arnaliaq went into labour at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 6. The baby walrus was born at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Everything went naturally without any human intervention. Arnaliaq is a gentle and protective mother to her child. We don't yet know whether it is a boy or girl because no one has come close to the mother and her new born. The next 48 hours will be crucial for the health of the infant and its mother.

Throughout the delivery, two animal guides, the veterinarian and the director observed the mother's behaviour by using the video surveillance cameras. They continue keeping an eye on them. Both are doing just fine. Arnaliaq has started to feed her baby. Both of them are staying in their quarters. The Aquarium du Québec team is allowing nature to follow its course and, if all goes well, we will post new updates on our Facebook page starting Monday.

The other female, Samka, continues her pregnancy. The birth is expected in early June.

 

SOURCE Société des établissements de plein air du Québec

Image with caption: "Walrus Arnaliaq and her baby in the birthroom (CNW Group/Société des établissements de plein air du Québec)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160507_C6982_PHOTO_EN_684983.jpg

For further information: Source and information: Lucie Boulianne, Communications officer, Sépaq, 418 928-5759, boulianne.lucie@sepaq.com

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