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Farewell, E.T. the Walrus
We were sad to hear of the passing of one of Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's best loved personalities - we got the sad news that E.T. the walrus passed away yesterday at the ripe old age (for a walrus) of 33.
E.T., the wondrous walrus who came to Tacoma as an orphan in 1982 and quickly became a cherished member of the community, died this afternoon at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. He did not recover from anesthesia following a two-hour surgery to drain a severely infected pharyngeal pouch.
E.T. had been ill for several weeks, and stopped eating more than two weeks ago.
Zoo Deputy Director John Houck described E.T. as a superb ambassador for his species. He was a crowd favorite with kids and adults alike, for his winning personality, and especially his many and varied vocalizations. A YouTube video of his oratory skills went viral a couple years ago, with 2.8 million views to date. The zoo shared more of E.T.'s vocal antics in this video:
The Zoo is inviting anyone who wants to express their condolences and remembrances of E.T. to post on the zoo’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Ptdefiancezoo; to visit the zoo and write messages on a giant banner; or to send cards to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98407. If you would like to make a more substantial gesture in memory of E.T., the The Zoo Society is accepting donations to the Dr. Holly Reed Conservation Fund in his honor at www.pdza.org/donate or by calling The Zoo Society at 253-404-3651. More information about E.T. is available at www.pdza.org/ET or in the announcement of his passing.
We know more than one kid (and a few adults) for whom a visit to the zoo isn't complete without stopping by to see E.T. He will be missed, but will live on in many a story - Do you have an E.T. memory?
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