In Ireland, a Sight Never Before Seen

Walrus turns up on the southwestern coast
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2021 8:58 AM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2021 9:35 AM CDT
In Ireland, a Sight Never Before Seen
Stock image, not the Irish visitor.   (Getty/VictoriaJStokes)

Ireland has recorded its first known sighting of a walrus, and it may be the result of a badly timed nap. A father and daughter spotted the creature over the weekend on the rocks off Valentia Island on the southwestern coast, reports the Irish Independent. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group confirmed the sighting, and video posted online offers proof of the unprecedented visitor with distinctive tusks, per So how on earth did the creature turn up? A local marine biologist says the best guess is that the walrus is an accidental visitor who traveled via iceberg, notes NPR.

“He’s from the Arctic," Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld tells the Independent. "I’d say what happened is he fell asleep on an iceberg and drifted off and then he was gone too far, out into the mid-Atlantic or somewhere like that down off Greenland possibly." The walrus was spotted Sunday by Alan Houlihan and his 5-year-old daughter, Muireann, while they were out for a walk. “He breached out of the water onto the rocks and gave us a bit of a show," says Alan. There was no sign of the animal on Monday, and wildlife experts advise people to keep their distance if they spot it. “He would be pretty tired and pretty hungry at this stage," says Flannery. (Nearby in Ireland, a beloved dolphin has gone missing.)

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