ARCTIC WALRUS spotted in Ireland for the first time in 17 years on the coast of Valentia Island, County Kerry.
A walrus has been spotted by a five-year-old girl on the Atlantic coast and this is the first time one of the animals has been seen in Ireland since 2004. It is not quite known how the walrus came to be on the rocks of Valentia Island, but the animal was seen to be looking extremely exhausted.
The Arctic walrus spotted was about two metres long and is thought to be a young adult. One expert believes that it may have fallen asleep while sitting on an iceberg, and then drifted to Ireland, all the way from Greenland. The species are considered as vulnerable and grow up to 3.6 metres in length.
The species is normally spotted near the North Pole, Greenland or northern Russia. Speaking to the Mail Online Dr Peter Richardson, head of ocean recovery at the Marine Conservation Society explained that, “It’s very unusual for one of these walruses to be this far south.
“It’s a long way from home but it seems like a fit, fat, young walrus which may be capable of making it home.
“They are known to travel vast distances but it’s so unusual [for one to be this far south] that it’s hard to say how it will be.”
The walrus will be safe in the area as there is an abundant supply of molluscs to eat, but Dr Richardson explained any further sightings should be reported. He said, “People should report it to Irish Whale and Dolphin Group if they see it and not approach the animal as they are not the most friendly.
“They can be quite hard to spot in the water but it could still be around. It is well worth people keeping an eye out still.”
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