Walrus wakes up in Ireland

Experts think that the Arctic animal fell asleep on an iceberg and drifted south
walrus "How long have I been asleep?!" (Photo 139700320 © - Dreamstime.com)

St. Patrick's Day was yesterday. And while Ireland certainly couldn't hold its usual celebrations (thank you, pandemic), it did get one visitor eager to experience the holiday firsthand.

A walrus.

Okay, it is a bit of a stretch to say that. But it is true that a young walrus mysteriously arrived on a beach on Valentia Island in southwestern Ireland.

The unexpected guest was spotted by a 5-year-old girl named Muireann Houlihan. She was out for a walk with her father, Alan, when she noticed something peculiar. Her quote sort of says it all.

Well, that would certainly make your walk worth talking about! And speaking of things worth talking about, we have a question.

What was the young walrus doing there?

A snooze gone wrong?

In general, walrus live exclusively in the Arctic. Things means places like Nunavut, Greenland, Alaska, Russia, and Norway—all much further north than southern Ireland. A few walruses have been spotted there in the past, but not many.

So how did it get so far away from home? A marine biologist with the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium named Kevin Flannery has a theory.

"I'd say what happened is, he fell asleep on an iceberg and drifted off," he guessed in a interview with The Independent, "and then he was gone too far, out into the mid-Atlantic or somewhere like that, down off Greenland possibly."

If you care to grab a map, that's a massive journey. Icebergs are a common resting spot for these animals, so this is certainly possible. Thankfully, the animal is now back on dry land in an area rich in shellfish, a favourite walrus treat.

"If he regains his strength," Flannery added in the article, "hopefully he'll make his way back."

Here's hoping so. Good luck, young walrus!

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  1. I think the walrus will be ok but he will need alot of food to swim and go back home. I also think the walrus in the picture is cute!

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