Montreal

Samka the walrus dies at Quebec Aquarium

The 13-year-old walrus made headlines for giving birth to one of two walrus calves in captivity.

The exact cause of Samka’s death has yet to be determined

Walruses Arnaliaq, left, and Samka rest their heads on the side of the pool at the Quebec aquarium in 2016. The aquarium announced Friday that Samka has died. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Samka, the 13-year-old walrus that made headlines for giving birth to one of two walrus calves in captivity, has died.

"She was a very playful animal to whom our staff was attached as much as our visitors were," said aquarium director Elizabeth Tessier in a statement.

The exact cause of Samka's death has yet to be determined.

She had been showing signs of concern for a few days, including a lack of appetite. A team of veterinarians was observing and treating her, but Samka died overnight.

Her body was taken to a Ministry of Agriculture lab.

      1 of 0

      The aquarium said it will keep a close eye on the other two walruses at the Quebec Aquarium — Arnaliaq, a female, and Boris, a male.

      Two years ago, Samka gave birth to Balzak, one of two young walruses that raised controversy when they were transferred from Quebec to the Vancouver Aquarium in December 2017.

      Balzak, who is male, was born days after his half sister Lakina. The two are believed to be the first full-term baby walruses to be born in captivity in Canada.

      They made their debut at the aquarium on Wednesday.

      Arnaliaq is Lakina's mother. Boris fathered both calves.