A walrus at a zoo in the Chinese city of Weihai has drowned a businessman who tried to take several selfies with her, and a zookeeper who tried to rescue the man.

After allowing the businessman, surnamed Jia, to take several videos and photos, including selfies, the walrus dragged him into the pool and drowned him, news site Sina reported.

A zookeeper, who had taken care of the walrus for over 10 years, tried to rescue the man but was also drowned.

Zoo authorities in the northeastern province of Shandong declined to comment on the incident, but sources there said the walrus only wanted to "play" with both men and give them a "hug".

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The family of the businessman, who jumped into the enclosure to take selfies with the walrus, asked the zoo for compensation.

They argued that the zoo did not provide adequate safety precautions, a sentiment that was echoed on Chinese social networking sites.

The zoo took responsibility for the incident and offered US$137,500 (A$190,324) to the victim's family in compensation.

Meanwhile, several netizens have posted photos they have taken standing next to giant walruses after which, they said, they didn't come to any harm.

- AAP