The wooing walrus at Point Defiance Zoo is not just another pretty face

Dozer’s last official public presentation in Tacoma is at 3 p.m. Sunday with a keeper talk topside of the walrus pool.

Seattle Times staff photographer

 As Lauren Bacall leaves the room in “To Have and Have Not” she says to Humphrey Bogart, “You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow.”

It’s a sensuous scene, one of cinema’s most famous.

Well, Dozer, the reasonably svelte and handsome 24-year-old Pacific walrus, knows how to whistle and it’s part of his repertoire in wooing the three females at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma.

Kris Sherman, with the zoo, says, “He’s quite vocal about attracting the ladies.”

When he puts his lips together, the sounds carry throughout the grounds. The 3,136-pounder is not just a gigolo, brought in to serve Joan, Basilla and Kulu.

His job is to help produce offspring. It won’t be known until fall if he succeeded.

The mating was done underwater in the pool where he swims in a graceful arc, usually clockwise, displaying his 13-foot, 3-inch length to visitors through glass.

His payment is restaurant-grade seafood — squid, herring and capelin — about 80 pounds a day.

There are only 15 walruses in captivity in accredited facilities in the United States and now more than a quarter of them are in Tacoma.

Dozer is also good at holding his breath, for up to 30 minutes. His 17-inch tusks help distinguish him from the females.

Blowing bubbles is also part of his approach in seducing his companions in the 120,000-gallon pool.

Born in captivity, Dozer was flown in from SeaWorld San Antonio this past November. By the end of the month he’ll be moving on to another herd. Same job, different companions.

His last official public presentation is at 3 p.m. Sunday with a keeper talk topside of his pool.

He doesn’t know where he’s headed and neither do we. It’s up to the next zoo to make the announcement after he arrives.

Jul. 3, 2012: E.T. the…

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