Nature has a funny way of making us feel all kinds of emotions. Amazingly one sleepy walrus left many people scratching their heads as they accidentally woke up in Ireland. It was certainly a sight that no one expected to see in the morning.
Spotting the walrus
It’s not every day we walk outside and spot an unusual animal, especially when they’re hundreds of miles from their home. Believe it or not, but that was the case for a five-year-old and her father as they walked along Valentia Island, Ireland, on March 14, 2021. Apparently, Alan Houlihan spotted something on the rocks and thought it was nothing more than a local seal. That was until the pair looked a little closer and realized the creature was far too big. Plus, the animal “the size of a bill or a cow” had tusks – something neither of them had seen on a seal before. It wasn’t long before the daddy-daughter duo realized there was a reason this guy looked so unfamiliar: it was actually an Arctic walrus!
Far from home
As the name suggests, Arctic walruses live in the Arctic Circle, where they spend most of their time in shallow water looking for shellfish. However, like most things, walruses need some rest, meaning it’s common to see them catching some z’s on an iceberg or two. So how did the walrus end up in Ireland? That’s what people still don’t know, but they have an idea. Experts believe the sleepy walrus was taking a nap on an iceberg when the ice floated off into the ocean. The next thing they probably knew, they were hundreds of miles away from home. Another theory thinks the walrus could have been island hopping from Greenland, but they don’t think this was the case. Amazingly, this isn’t the first walrus spotted in Ireland. The first recorded sighting was back in 1897, and several were seen in the 1980s.
Making it home
Of course, one thing that many people want to know is how the sleepy walrus will get home. Experts estimate that the walrus is still a youngster because they only have 12-inch tusks compared to the three-feet-long tusks adults tend to showcase. Experts are hopeful that the walrus will find some shellfish around the coast of the island and regain their strength before they try to make their way back up to the Arctic. For now, it seems the walrus is still trying to sleep off their adventure before taking to the water. It seems the unexpected wake-up has taken the wind out of their sails.
It’s not every day that we see something completely unexpected waiting outside our door. However, that was the case for one pair when they spotted a sleepy walrus taking a nap hundreds of miles from home. While it might have been completely out of the ordinary, experts are hopeful that it won’t be long before this Arctic walrus has enough strength to make the long journey home back to their family.