Could a walrus be kept as a pet?

I get the impression most walruses are really much too large to keep as a pet. Unless you had a gigantic room to keep it in. But what if you could find a small, dwarf walrus - would it be possible to keep it as a pet?

I assume you can’t just go into the wild and grab a wild walrus and bring him home. Are there legal channels you could go through to legitimately obtain a walrus - outside of being a licensed wildlife researcher?

Walruses probably have to stay below a certain temperature to survive. If someone were rich enough that he could build a giant freezer, and use this as the walrus habitat, could he pull it off? I mean, zoos can build walrus habitats (and polar bear enclosures) so the technology is there to accomplish it. It’s just a question of having the money.

Obviously it’s possible, for certain values of “possible”. Zoos and aquariums and marinas house walruses, so all you need is a giant pool you can keep at the correct temperature, hire a pretty-much full time caregiver, and be prepared to spend bucketfulls of cash on food.

Walruses are huge, but they are highly intelligent social animals that can interact with humans and are trainable. See:

However, there are no legal ways for a private owner to obtain a walrus, so you’d have to set up some sort of non-profit org and jump through a lot of hoops to convince the regulators that your backyard pool is fulfills some sort of scientific or conservation need.

I believe walruses are fairly aggressive and territorial.

There’s a number of places that have traps for a Walrus.

Walrus are very dangerous animals.

Never mind the Polar Bears, beware of the Walrus!!!

As with all legal matters, this depends on the jurisdiction. I’ll bet you that there are at least some where individuals can own walruses. Even if there aren’t, if you’ve got enough money to keep a walrus as a pet, you’ve probably got enough money to bribe some third-world dictator into issuing an edict allowing you to keep one on his territory.

I have worked closely with northern elephant seals, and while not the same as a walrus I can attest to them being exceedingly dangerous and unpredictable. A full grown walrus could easily knock you down and crush you, whether intentionally or unintentionally, although they can be trained to a certain degree. There is no such thing as a dwarf walrus.

Not as a distinct species, but I don’t see why individual walruses might not have congenital dwarfism. It’s not like the condition is limited to humans.

Interesting. Has anyone studied walrus DNA to find a cure for dwarfism?

Interesting thread. What other animals would be bad as pets? I’m talking aquatic ones here.

Previous thread on the same subject:

Leopard sealsprings immediately to mind. I’ve seen footage that was shot by a diver who was in the water with them at the time - terrifying stuff. (By the way - the 10th image in the series linked there is of a leopard seal tearing the head off a penguin, if you don’t believe me about the “terrifying” part…) They’re beautiful, in a sinewy, twisty, agile sort of way.

I think my usual rule of thumb applies equally well to aquatic animals:

  • Nothing poisonous
  • Nothing non-domesticated that will weigh more than a quarter of what you do

I heard of a carpenter once who had a walrus for a friend.

Only if you has a bukkit.

Just wanted to say, I’m NOT the walrus, googoo cachoo.

Blue whales might be hard, unless you had a really large swimming pool in your backyard.

I think a hippopotamus would be an even worse idea than a walrus.

Silly of anyone to think that you are. From what I can tell you are not an eggman either.

Of course IANTE and TANTE so none of us are the Walrus.

Glad to help,

Retromingent: word of the day!