A rare arctic walrus found itself drifting thousands of miles away from home this weekend off the coast of Ireland. According to the Irish Examiner report, the enormous animal was spotted by five-year-old Muireann and her father, Alan Houlihan who were walking Ireland's Valentia Island on a Sunday. They spotted the enormous walrus breaching out of the water and onto the rocks.
The father-daughter duo first thought the giant animal was a seal, before spotting its tusks. They said that the walrus was massive in size. It was about the "size of a dairy bull,"Houlihan told the Irish Examiner."He was sitting on the rock now kind of posing.At one stage there, he threw up a fin and it looked like he was giving us all the birdie,"he added.
The report also cited marine biologist Kevin Flannery who believes the walrus might have fallen asleep on an iceberg before being drifted down to the Irish coast. While the Irish Whale and Dolphin group (IWDG) said,"walrus sightings are extremely rare"and that this was only the third sighting of the creature, the previous one was officially recorded in Ireland in 1999. They estimate that the walrus could be a young adult but it is not possible to determine the gender as both males and females have tusks.
The animal would be ‘pretty tired’ and ‘pretty hungry’ after his long voyage, Flannery said. He also urged the public to give the walrus some peace to recuperate from his monumental journey.
Another marine biologist said that the walrus was likely quite young, based on the size of its tusks. While many others emphasised how rare it was for a walrus to be so far from south, despite its ability to travel epic distances. "It's a long way from home but it seems like a fit, fat, young walrus, which may be capable of making it home," he said.
Dr Peter Richardson, head of ocean recovery at the Marine Conservation Society told the Daily Mail thatthe animal is a "long way from home but it seems like a fit, fat young walrus which might be capable of making it back home."Individuals of the walrus species normally live around the North Pole, northern Russia and Greenland regions. However, the nearest population of the lost walrus is in the waters of Greenland and Svalbard.