Sunday 17 October 2021

Lost walrus stops at sandbank off Schiermonnikoog

The lost walrus. Photo: Marcel de Vries

A female walrus has been spotted basking on a sandbank off Schiermonnikoog in a very rare appearance in European waters,

Walruses live on the ice floes of the Arctic Ocean but the animals are prodigious swimmers and capable of traveling long distances.

The female in question was spotted by Ralf van Hal, marine researcher at Wageningen University. Van Hal didn’t immediately realise this was a very unusual guest, he told local broadcaster Omrop Fryslân. Van Hal knows more about fish, the broadcaster said.

The female, which is thought to have traveled via Denmark has also been spotted on the German Wadden islands of Baltrum and Spiekeroog. Environmental organisations have asked the public not to approach the animal.

The last time a walrus was spotted in the Wadden area was in 1998, when one visited Ameland.

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