Dozer, the 3,650 pound walrus, made its debut that Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Friday, making a loud sound most couldn’t miss.
"Male walruses have a lot of different sounds,” said Lisa Triggs, senior staff biologist for marine mammals. “They make [sounds], and it’s part of a breeding display. What happens is all the males and females congregate during breeding season, and the males display both visually and vocally for the females."
Hearing the sounds makes Triggs happy, because she was brought to Point Defiance Zoo from Texas to breed.
"Right now there are only 14 animals [Pacific Walruses] in U.S. facilities. It's a really small population so we started to talk about how we encourage breeding success," she said.
In the next few months Triggs said walruses could be listed as a threatened species.
"They are facing climate change, and what’s happening to their environment is that the ice is diminishing," she said.
Walruses rely on the ice as a space for breeding and giving birth. So seven zoos in the nation have taken in male walruses on loan to encourage breeding.
"It's a female's choice who they're going to mate with, and they listen to those sounds and watch those displays to figure out which males have the best displays is the one I'm going to breed with,” she said.
Triggs hopes the big hunk of a marine mammal will make a splash with the ladies soon.