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Arctic Walrus spotted on the rocks at Valentia Island

Five-year-old Muireann Houlihan spotted the animal.

Image: PA

Updated Mar 15th 2021, 3:00 PM

AN ARCTIC WALRUS washed up on the rocks at Valentia Island in Kerry yesterday but there was no sign of him this morning. 

The Irish Whale & Dolphin Group confirmed the sighting yesterday afternoon and have urged the public to keep a safe distance. 

The walrus was spotted by Alan Houlihan and his five-year-old daughter Muireann while they were out walking. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Hourihan said “it was just amazing” to spot the seam mammal. “It’s the size of a cow or a bull…I hadn’t seen anything like it in Ireland.”

Muireann has suggested two possible names for the walrus – Isabelle if it’s a girl, and Cian if it’s a boy.

“She went home last night and she was drawing pictures of walruses. It was so adorable,” Houlihan added.

We are in lockdown so the kids have gone back to school today for the first time, so it made things a bit easier for them to go back in today with a news story.

The Walrus, a rare sight in Irish waters, is believed to be a young male. It is said to be in an exhausted state. 

Houlihan said there was no sign of the walrus this morning. 

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walrus-2 Muireann Houlihan points to Isabelle – or Cian. Source: PA

Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium said it is very likely the walrus could have been asleep on an iceberg which melted off the Greenland Shelf. 

The Irish Whale & Dolphin Group wrote on social media that this was only the third validated sighting of a walrus in Ireland since 1999.

“We would ask members of the public fortunate enough to see it, to observe this wayward traveler from a safe distance and to give it the space it requires and submit any subsequent sightings to the IWDG sighting scheme,” the organisation said.

With reporting by Press Association

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