New York Aquarium inundated; baby walrus safe

Orphaned walrus calf Mitik is receiving around-the-clock care at the flooded New York Aquarium in Coney Island. AP Photo/Wildlife Conservation Society, Julie Larsen Maher

The entire 14 acres of the New York Aquarium in Coney Island was underwater after Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday evening — soaking human staff and one very large baby under their care.

Aquarium employees remained onsite when the storm made landfall Monday evening and stayed through the night. There they were able watch over the aquarium’s newest inhabitant, the 236-pound walrus baby Mitik. The calf arrived earlier in the month from Alaska, and Jim Breheny, executive vice president of the aquarium, said his care hadn’t been interrupted by the flooding.

“As an orphaned calf, he was experiencing some health issues when he came to us as a rescue,” said Breheny in a statement. “We have been monitoring his condition carefully since his arrival and continued this around-the-clock care throughout the duration of the storm.”

Meanwhile, the organization’s four zoos in the Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park and Queens, reportedly did not undergo serious damage and “all animals fared well,” according to Breheny, though all locations are expected to be closed until further notice.

In a statement, the Wildlife Conservation Society said a full assessment of the damage to the aquarium would be impossible until the waters receded.

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