‘Massive’ arctic creature spotted along coast of Scotland for first time in 25 years
Scanning the rocky coast of Scotland, a local fisherman spotted an unusual visitor stretched out in the sun.
“It was a surprise to see the walrus being taken out,” said fisherman Lorn Macrae Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust in a press release on Monday, February 27. “The Atlantic gray seals seemed to give it a wide berth.”
Macrae snapped some photos of the “massive” creature and reported it to the local naval organization, according to a press release.
The walrus has been sighted on the tiny island of Cairn na Burgh Beag, part of the Hebrides archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. The island is approximately 520 miles northwest of London.
“Walruses are rare visitors to Scottish coasts,” say marine experts. This is the first recorded sighting of a walrus along the west coast of Scotland in over 25 years, the organization said.
Recently, a large male walrus nicknamed “Thor” has been sighted along the coasts of the Netherlands, France, England and Iceland, experts said. Thor was identified by his distinctive fin markings and was last seen off the coast of Iceland on February 24.
Marine experts don’t know if the walrus seen in the Hebrides is Thor. “If that’s him, he’s had an incredible journey,” the organization said.
There are two species of walrus – the Atlantic and the Pacific – which are named for the areas in which they live World Wildlife Fund. The Pacific walrus ranges from Russia to the west coast of the United States. The Atlantic walrus is found on the northern coasts of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia.
“There are thought to be about 25,000 Atlantic walruses and about 200,000 Pacific walruses in the wild,” reports the World Wildlife Fund.
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust has urged people to remain respectful of Arctic visitors by keeping a considerable distance from the animal, not watching it for too long and not congregating in large numbers.
“Walruses travel long distances, taking breaks to recover and recharge their batteries before moving on again,” said Molly Gray of British Divers Marine Life Rescue in the press release. “Being disturbed by people who are too close or too loud will affect[the walrus’s]chances of survival.”
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https://news.yahoo.com/massive-arctic-creature-spotted-first-183010544.html ‘Massive’ arctic creature spotted along coast of Scotland for first time in 25 years