Mother of new walrus at Vancouver Aquarium dies in Quebec

Samka, mother of Balzak, dies in captivity at Quebec City Aquarium

Just as baby walrus Balzak makes his debut at the Vancouver Aquarium, staff at the Quebec City Aquarium are mourning the death of his mother, Samka.

Samka was one of two female walruses to give birth to Balzak and his half-sister, Lakine, last year – becoming the first walruses to be born in Canadian captivity and survive.

In a statement Friday, aquarium director Elizabeth Tessier said Samka was part of the Quebec aquarium for 13 years.

“She was a very playful animal to which all of our staff had attached as much as our visitors,” she said in a statement.

The cause of Samka’s death has yet to be determined, but the aquarium said she had been showing concerning signs for a few days, including a lack of appetite.

An autopsy is being performed at a Ministry of Agriculture laboratory.

Samka and fellow female walrus Arnaliaq, along with male walrus Boris, drew national attention last year when the Vancouver Aquarium announced it had acquired Balzak and Lakine.

The two baby walruses, now nearly two years old, made their debut at the B.C. aquarium Wednesday.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ex-Nanaimo man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Abbotsford music festival

James Allen Redden, 50, found guilty of three charges

Langley rower takes silver at Lucerne, Switzerland

Andrea Proske quit a good job to take up the sport at a relatively late age. It worked out.

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at Langley airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Langley’s Brunsch bunch

It’s all relative for lacrosse-playing brothers who are teammates

Lower Mainland cools down as heat wave lifts

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the mid to low 20s

Stolen sunshade puts damper on Lower Mainland woman’s pet-relief effort

Broken umbrella taken from White Rock lawn ‘within 10 minutes’

5 to start your day

A man is dead in a Mission crash, friends celebrate life of South Surrey train victim and more

One dead after fatal motorcycle crash on BC’s Highway 11

Mission RCMP are investigating a crash that claimed one life

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Teen killed by train remembered for his love

Friends and family share stories of young Crescent Beach train victim

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Most Read