Thursday, June 12, 2008


It’s no surprise that Akituusaq was 115 pounds when he was born, after all, his mother weighs in at a whopping 1,450 pounds and his fat father is about 3,000 pounds (give or take 50 here and there). Akituusaq is a healthy little fellow with an amazing appetite (he has gained 1-3 pounds every day since he was born)—in fact, he didn’t just eat a piece of his birthday cake, he devoured the ENTIRE cake within minutes. There was an audience of wide-eyed kindergartners from PS 90 who sang happy birthday and cheered him on, of course.
Akituusaq, as you may have guessed, comes from “Atkins”—you know, the guy who invented the Atkins diet. Obviously, the Atkins diet doesn’t work, and his son is just another obese, narrow-minded American whose only knowledge of world history is the story about Marie Antoinette shouting “Let them eat cake!”
OK, OK, here’s the truth: Akituusaq, whose name means “a gift given in return” in Yupic (the language spoken by Alaskan Inuits), is actually a walrus who lives at the New York Aquarium. As you may know, walruses are not exactly born every day in NYC —this guy was the first walrus ever to have been born at the aquarium, which has been around for 112 years. His parents were orphans living in Gamel, Alaska when they were rescued by the NY Aquarium in 1994.
Don’t worry that you missed the birthday party— there are about 8,000 other animals at the New York Aquarium so if you visit, the likelihood that you’ll be there for a birthday is pretty high. In fact, I suggest skipping the Freddie Kruger movie night this coming Friday the 13th and heading to the Aquarium instead…it’s the first night of freebie Fridays. For details, check out

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