NEW YORK (AP) — A beloved orphaned walrus calf has been moved to Texas while the New York Aquarium undergoes a 2-year renovation.

Mitik came to the aquarium from Alaska in 2012, weeks before Hurricane Sandy hit and damaged much of the Coney Island facility.

He arrived with numerous health issues. The New York Times says the Wildlife Conservation Society felt Mitik would fare better at SeaWorld San Antonio while the repairs were done.

His move will allow the aquarium to work on the life support system in Sea Cliffs, the marine mammal exhibit.

Five of the aquarium’s buildings suffered major damage during Sandy. It closed for seven months. When it reopened last May, only half of the exhibits were open as repairs continued.

The aquarium assured visitors that Mitik would return.

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