Pet Health

Beloved walrus at Washington state zoo dies after surgery

In this photo taken in October, 2011, and provided by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, E.T. swims in Tacoma, Wash. Officials at a Tacoma zoo say the much-loved 33-year-old walrus has died after surgery Thursday, July 16, 2015. (Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium via AP)

In this photo taken in October, 2011, and provided by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, E.T. swims in Tacoma, Wash. Officials at a Tacoma zoo say the much-loved 33-year-old walrus has died after surgery Thursday, July 16, 2015. (Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium via AP)

Officials at a Washington state zoo say a much-loved 33-year-old walrus has died after surgery.

The News Tribune reports (http://is.gd/klqiLk ) that the Pacific walrus named E.T. didn't recover from anesthesia Thursday after a two-hour surgery to drain an abscess in his neck.

Dr. Karen Wolf of the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma says E.T. had been ill for weeks with a serious bacterial infection, had not eaten for more than two weeks and suffered from painful arthritis.

Zoo Deputy Director John Houck called the walrus a "well-loved member" of the zoo who "delighted generations of visitors."

E.T. arrived in August 1982 from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, after oil workers spotted him wandering alone. They rescued him and named him after Steven Spielberg's movie extraterrestrial.

The zoo has two other walruses.