walrus (O. rosmarus)

wild caught ≤ 1937

unknown ≥ 1939

Ancestors and Descendants

No known related animals.

Transfer History

  1. capture ≤ 1937 at Wrangel Island, Russia

  2. transfer ≤ 1937 to Moscow Zoo

  3. unknown ≥ 1939 at Moscow Zoo

Image Gallery

image retrieved from e-Libra.ru

Notes and Information

Nyurka was most likely a young female.

At this time I have been unable to find any certain information regarding when Nyurka was captured and when she died. The first piece of literature referencing her was published in 1937 -- the author of the book, Vera Chaplina, first began working at the Moscow Zoo in 1924, and by 1933 she was placed in charge of raising orphaned animals at the facility. It is probable that Nyurka was captured in this early 1930s period, as Chaplina details in her literature Nyurka's transit from Wrangel Island and arrival to the Moscow Zoo, where she immediately began caring for the emaciated and injured pup.

In a letter written in 1988 by Chaplina and her granddaughter, it is revealed that during World War II the Moscow Zoo was unable to purchase the fresh fish necessary for Nyurka's survival, resulting in her gradual starvation and death. With this information we can infer that Nyurka survived at least until the start of the war in 1939.


  • 2020-Mar-25 [Access date]. Вера Чаплина. Питомцы зоопарка [Нюрка]. Retrieved from e-Libra.ru.

  • 2020-Mar-25 [Access date]. Wikipedia. Vera Chaplina [Biography]. Retrieved from Wikipedia.com.

  • 2017-Oct-14. Архив Веры Чаплиной (@vchaplina_arhiv). От «А» до «Я» – четвероногие друзья Веры Чаплиной [Выпуск 27]. Retrieved from Livejournal.com.