Brooklyn, NY, September 2, 2009 - The New York Aquarium is sad to report that Pacific walrus, Akituusaq, died September 1. The walrus died due to complications from pneumonia.

During the past few days, Akituusaq had been under special care by Wildlife Conservation Society veterinarians and received round-the-clock attention. Working tirelessly, WCS staff closely monitored his status and provided dedicated medical care.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved walrus Akituusaq and are proud of the exemplary care that our entire staff provided during this critical time,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, New York Aquarium Director. “We know Brooklyn was proud of Akituusaq and many loved him. This is a loss to the whole community.”

Akituusaq was the first Pacific walrus baby born in the New York Aquarium’s 113-year history. This past spring he celebrated his second birthday. He was born June 12, 2007. Walrus births in aquariums are very rare, with only five surviving to one year of age.

Contact: Fran Hackett, 718-265-3428

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit

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