Arctic Walrus Is Unexpected Guest on Irish Island

Valentia Island in Kerry is famed for its tetrapod tracks, one of the earliest fossil records of an animal walking on land. Another rare creature emerged from the sea there on March 14, in the shape of a walrus, far from its Arctic home.

According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, there have been previous walrus sightings in Ireland in 1999 and 2004.

Islander Alan Houlihan was among the first to spot the walrus. “He’s huge, he’s about the size of a bull or a cow,” he told the Irish Examiner. “Myself and my daughter were out walking on the beach down near the lighthouse. He breached out of the water onto the rocks and gave us a bit of a show."

A marine biologist, Kevin Flannery, told the local paper the walrus “could have fallen asleep on an iceberg before being carried across the Atlantic ocean.”

Local woman Aisling Quigley recorded this footage. She said the walrus was looking “really tired” and “really confused as to where he was.”

She said she looked for the walrus again on Monday, March 15, but didn’t see it. Credit: Aisling Quigley via Storyful

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