A female walrus which surfaced last month near the Wadden island of Schiermonnikoog has now been spotted basking on Harlingen’s Zuiderpier.
People should keep a distance of at least 100 metres for their own safety and that of the animal, Wageningen University animal biologist Hans Verdaat told Nu.nl.
Sea mamal rescue centre Pieterburen, which has observed the animal, said it is healthy apart from some scratches to its front flippers, which were probably caused by the sharp shells of mussel or oyster banks it had to negotiate.
The centre said the ‘adventurous walrus’, whose usual habitat is in the Arctic regions near the North Pole, ‘is well able to look after itself and will find its way home in time if left to its own devices’.
It is the first time in 23 years that a walrus has been spotted on the Dutch coast. The current visitor is thought to have travelled via Denmark and Germany.
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