Baby Walrus Due in Vallejo

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Apr 11, 2011  |  Updated 12:42 PM PDT
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Baby Walrus Due in Vallejo

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400688 01: Igor, the Walrus, relaxes February 7, 2002 at the dolphin and walrus park named Dolfinarium in Harderwijk, The Netherlands. The Dolfinarium will open to the public in February. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

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Someone's having a baby soon -- a big, huge, 100-pound baby, with whiskers, a snout, and no ears.

A walrus at Six Flags in Vallejo is pregnant. Experts have long been hoping that the lucky mom, Uquq, would engage with a companion, and now at last she has. The father is named Sivuqaq, and getting his reproductive cycle to line up with Uquq's proved unusually challenging, according to the CC Times.

They were both rescued from a hunt near Alaska more than 15 years ago.

The body of knowledge regarding walrus reproduction is not particularly vast, in part because very few institutions are allowed to house the animals for study. Walruses are also relatively slow and gradual with their reproduction, making it difficult to track their behavior and process over time. And of course, it's not exactly a walk in the park to conduct an ultrasound on a 1-ton pinniped.

One of the few reproductive facts that is known: male walruses have the largest baculum of any land mammal. Try not to blush.

With only a few weeks left in the pregnancy, the anticipation is building. Very few walruses have ever given birth in captivity, and there's a 50 percent chance that the baby will not survive. If the calf makes it through its first few months alive, it'll answer countless scientific questions -- not the least of which is, who gets to name it?

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