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Orphaned baby walrus on the mend at Indianapolis Zoo

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 1:14 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — An orphaned baby walrus rescued off the coast of Alaska is nearly ready for his public debut at the Indianapolis Zoo after gaining weight on a diet of milk, fish and vitamins.

Pakak was suffering from dehydration and infested with lice when he was rescued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services after becoming separated in July from a group of about 1,000 walruses off Alaska's northern coast.

But zoo senior marine mammal trainer Mandy Goin tells WRTV-TV that Pakak has gone from scrawny and sick to a pump 350 pounds since he arrived at the zoo in October. She says Pakak has gained strength swimming at the zoo's walrus exhibit.

He'll go on exhibit after the first of the year, joining a 1,500-pound female walrus named Aurora.