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“Incredibly rare sight”: Arctic walrus appears in Wales

“Incredibly rare sight”
Arctic walrus appears in Wales

An Arctic walrus suddenly appears on the coast of Wales. Animal rights activists suspect that the animal made it to Britain on an ice floe. The search for food may be the reason for the long journey.

A walrus emerged from the Arctic on the coast of the British province of Wales over the weekend. “It’s an incredibly rare sight, these huge, beautiful animals don’t usually come that far south,” said Ellie West of the animal welfare organization RSPCA to the PA news agency. The organization had examined the animal – apart from a few scratches, it should be healthy, if slightly underweight.

A few days ago, walkers on the west coast of Ireland in County Kerry had already seen a walrus on a boulder. Biologists assume that it is the same animal – possibly stranded on an ice floe. “Presumably the young walrus went on a journey to look for food,” speculated West.

Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are native to the arctic regions around the North Pole. They protect themselves against the icy temperatures with a layer of fat up to 15 centimeters thick. When fully grown, the animals weigh up to one and a half tons. They need up to 50 kilograms of food a day, which they look for on the sea floor. Mainly small and soft marine animals such as mussels, worms, snails and octopus are on their menu.

Walruses feel their food with the help of their beard, which consists of up to 450 sensitive sensory hairs. You can dive for up to 30 minutes and eat up to 6000 crabs and clams in the process. After eating, the animals often rest on ice floes to digest.

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