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Captive walruses with tusks

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Arizona Docent, 11 Apr 2018.

  1. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    When I was at Point Defiance Zoo recently, my traveling companion @snowleopard made an interesting observation that I was not aware of. He said most captive walruses have their tusks removed because they get damaged scraping the bottom of the pool. The three females we saw there all had no tusks, but there was apparently a male with tusks (on breeding loan) who was off exhibit that day for veterinary procedures. I also happened to see a thumbnail on the internet of a walrus with tusks at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

    Please use this thread to list all the places that have walruses with tusks in captivity. I am NOT interested in all places with walruses, as there is a very extensive thread on that already: Walrus currently in captivity . I am only interested in those with tusks. (The fact that their tusks are routinely removed in my opinion illustrates a failure in enclosure design).
     
  2. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Kamogawa sea world.Just search the gallery and see their curved teeth.
     
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  3. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I don't think any of the current Walruses in Europe have tusks...

    "Antje" the legendary Walrus from Hagenbeck, Hamburg, had tusks and that enclosure wasn't particularly big. She died in 2003 and can now be seen in the Natural History Museum in Hamburg.
     
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  4. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member 10+ year member Premium Member

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    I only saw walruses with tusks at Sea World locations - both in Orlando and San Diego. I believe, but I may be wrong, that the male currently at Point Defiance came from Sea World. Not all Sea World specimens had tusks, but at time time of my visits there was at least one walrus in each location with good tusks
     
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  5. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    I was fortunate to see "Antje" several times in Hamburg (Hagenbecks) Zoo; she was the only captive walrus I've ever seen with impressive tusks.

    Since her death, I've also seen her several times in Hamburg University's Zoological Museum; see the links below for museum photos.

    Walrus 'Antje'; Hamburg University Zoology Museum; September 2007 | ZooChat

    Walrus 'Antje'; Hamburg University Zoology Museum; September 2007 | ZooChat
     
  6. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Exactly half of the captive walrus in North America still have their tusks, I'll list them all for you :)

    Marineland of Canada:
    1.0 Zeus

    Vancouver Aquarium:
    1.0 Balzak
    0.1 Lakina

    Point Defiance:
    1.0 Dozer

    Six Flags:
    0.1 Uquq

    Seaworld San Diego:
    1.0 Mitik
    0.1 ChuChu

    Seaworld Orlando:
    2.0 Garfield and Aku
    0.2 Kaboodle and Ginger

    Indianapolis:
    1.0 Pakak

    While enclosure design definitely plays a part, a large part of it is also the individual animals personality, and the individual tusks themselves. Some animals are more prone to swim patterns which rub their tusks, which opens them up to infections, and other have naturally more porous tusks that almost seem to act as "bacteria sponges" if not removed.
     
  7. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    As for overseas animals, it tends to be a bit more swayed in favor of tusk removal, but there are still a number of animals with intact tusks. Off of the top of my head, there is the following:

    Hagenbeck:
    1.0 Thor

    Dolfinarium Harderwijk:
    0.1 Olivia

    Kamogawa Seaworld:
    2.2, all with tusks.

    Toba Aquarium:
    1.0 Po
    0.1 Tsurara

    Otaru Aquarium:
    1.1

    Ocean Park Hong Kong:
    1.0
     
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  8. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Old Hagenbeck claimed to have known a special design of pools which allowed walrus to keep their tusks. He did not disclose it, but the actual pool (old Eismeer) had very gentle slope. It presumably allowed Antje to get out without pulling itself on her tusks. The pool was also, because of it, very shallow, little more than body diameter of the walrus. Antje could not dive, more like only submerge herself.

    It would be interesting to know which tanks provide at least partially soft bottom?
    Do gentle pool edges help tusk health?
    Is recent generation of walrus more likely to keep their tusks?
     
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  9. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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  10. Tatsuslava

    Tatsuslava Well-Known Member

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    if it does we need more of these walrus pools then I like seeing walruses with tusks
     
  11. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Wicksteed is not a zoo
  12. 11622

    11622 Member

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    No, unfortunately not. His tusks had to be removed both, because he had worn them down and therefore they were inflamed. Hagenbeck didn't published anything about that, but I'm absolutely sure.

    No; unfortunately, the pool is not the problem.
    The problem is something completely different: A walrus is a highly intelligent creature and often develops behavioral problems in captivity.
    Hagenbeck's exhibition is really beautiful and they take good care of the animals.
    Only 1.0 Odin seems a little neglected. Mostly kept alone in a separated pool, he's suffering from loneliness and boredom and shows significant behavioral disorders.
    But despite all this: A walrus in an enclosure will never behave typical for his species and be really happy. Some of them are destroying their tusks, others are showing other behavioral disorders and some also seem to be doing fine...
    Unfortunately some animals -including the walrus- seem to be unsuitable for keeping in zoos and aquariums.
    I'm sorry...
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2019
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  13. Elephant Enthusiast

    Elephant Enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    @The Walrus, it's great to have you back online!

    Thank you for providing your understanding on the correlation between captive walrus tusk extractions, captive walrus behavioural abnormalities, and exhibit design. I greatly appreciate all the information you've been able to share on the walruses at Tierpark Hagenbeck.
     
  14. Snowleopardqueen

    Snowleopardqueen Well-Known Member

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    The female walrus at the indy zoo i was told had hers removed after they became infected. Pakak has metal caps to help prevent a tusk injury.