BROOKLYN — An orphaned walrus rescued off the Alaskan coast and brought to New York Aquarium for health treatment will spend the summer in the warmth of Texas.
Mitik was flown down to SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas while the Brooklyn aquarium damaged in Hurricane Sandy undergoes repairs, New York Aquarium director Jon Dohlin said Wednesday.
Mitik left Brooklyn the same way he came, in a FedEx cargo jet accompanied by his trainer.
“Construction at the New York Aquarium will be completed 2016. At that time, Mitik, is expected to return to New York,” Dohlin said.
He had been in Coney Island for a little over a year, but was never put on exhibit due to his poor health.
The orphaned pup was not expected to survive after a fisherman found him with severe dehydration, a high white blood cell count, and a bladder infection in 2012, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the aquarium.
But the wee walrus responded well to treatment, according to WCS.
Mitik, who weighed just over 200 pounds when he arrived as a 15-week-old pup, leaves as a 700-pound walrus whose tusks are just coming in, the New York Times reported.
Construction would not be good for his development, so aquarium officials decided he’ll live in San Antonio for the next couple of years.
The aquarium’s two other walruses are much older than Mitik and more acclimated to the system. The construction project will not affect them in a negative way, the Times reported.
"Mitik is acclimating well to his new surroundings, he’s eating well and our trainers have been delighted by his calm and gentle demeanor," a SeaWorld San Antonio spokesman said.