female Pacific walrus (O. r. divergens) 

wild caught on October 14th, 2018

deceased in 2023

Ancestors and Descendants

None known at this time.

Transfer History

Notes and Information

This walrus was part of a herd of six captured by LLC Oceanarium DV (five walruses) and LLC Sochi Dolphinarium (one individual) "near the villages of Inchoun and Enurmino". The herd was initially housed at the Center for the Adaptation of Marine Mammals, operated by Russia's Pacific Fisheries and Oceanography Research Institute (TINRO). 

One of the walruses was purchased on February 4th, 2019, while the remaining five were purchased on November 17th -- on November 25th a permit was filed by LLC Aquatoria for the export of the six animals to unspecified Chinese facilities, and the following day the walruses were flown to Aquatoria's Yalta facility.

Questions arose surrounding the legality of the walruses capture and sale; by September of 2020 the herd had been confiscated from Aquatoria and into the legal ownership of the Russian Federation. 

Due to their young age at capture and extensive contact with humans the animals were deemed to be nonreleasable, and the decision was ultimately made to transfer them to the Moscow Zoo, which at that time had a new Pinnipeds exhibit complex under construction featuring a walrus habitat.

The transfer of the five surviving walruses to the Moscow Zoo was announced on September 15th, 2021, although I have no confirmation at this time of when the transfer actually took place. The walruses were still present at Aquatoria Yalta on September 2nd, when transfer crates were moved to the facility to prepare the animals for loading.

Nova may have been sighted at Moskvarium as early as June of 2022, although her presence wasn't confirmed until November. She was likely transferred to the facility at some point between September of 2021 and March of 2022. This transfer was temporary to allow repairs to be made to the Moscow Zoo's walrus habitat.

It was announced on August 20th, 2023 that Nova had passed away less than a month after her return to the Moscow Zoo in the Summer of 2023, although a date of transfer or death has not yet been specified at this time.