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Walrus calves get names, continue recovery at Alaska SeaLife Center (+VIDEO)

Ben Anderson

Two male walrus calves continue their rehabilitation at the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, but they're far enough along to allow for visitor viewing. And now, thanks to Center staff, they have names.

The two calves, now dubbed Pakak and Mitik, were rescued from Barrow in late July. Pakak, the older of the two, was rescued July 22 and now weighs 315 pounds at just 12 weeks old, according to the Center. The other walrus, Mitik, was rescued 8 days later and is a slim 175 pounds at 9 weeks. The name Pakak is Inupiaq for "one that gets into everything," the Center said in a press release. The name Mitik was suggested for the other walrus by the daughter of one of the rescuers.

The walruses' steady progress has been encouraging after a third rescued calf died from complications in late July, 24 hours after arriving at the center. Until last week, the calves were housed separately as Mitik, in critical condition after the rescue, continued his recovery. Now, both have found their way into the facility's I.Sea.U unit to continue their recovery. Visitors can now see both walruses in the unit through one-way glass.

"In the ensuing days, the animals have become close companions, nuzzling each other, exploring their enclosure, napping together, and taking turns chasing each other around their pool," a press release from the center said.

If that's not a recipe for an adorableness overload, we're not sure what is. 

The two pinnipeds continue to receive around-the-clock care, with volunteers from the Pittsburgh Zoo and SeaWorld in San Diego assisting.

Contact Ben Anderson at ben(at)ben@alaskadispatch.com