A Walrus Was Spotted In Ireland for the Very First Time After Falling Asleep on an Iceberg

SeppFriedhuber/iStock via Getty Images
SeppFriedhuber/iStock via Getty Images / SeppFriedhuber/iStock via Getty Images

Residents of the island nation of Ireland are familiar with marine life, but they're not used to seeing anything like the creature that recently paid a visit to their home. As Independent.ie reports, locals recently spotted a walrus off Valentia Island, marking the first walrus sighting ever recorded in the country.

Alan Houlihan and his 5-year-old daughter Muireann were the first people to notice something large swimming off Glanleam Beach in Kerry on the morning of March 14. When the animal hauled itself onto the rocks, they saw that it was a walrus. Alan Houlihan compared its size to that of a bull or cow. You can watch video they shot of the aquatic mammal here.

Walruses are native to the Arctic, and prior to this weekend, they've never been seen as far south as Ireland. Local marine biologist Kevin Flannery suspects that the creature fell asleep on an iceberg in Greenland and woke up on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. After such a long journey, the walrus was likely hungry and exhausted by the time he reached Irish shores.

The walrus has become a local celebrity, and Houlihan's daughter Muireann even thought of some potential names for it: Isabelle if it's a girl and Cian if it's a boy. The animal's sex will likely remain a mystery, however. When Houlihan went to check on it after the initial sighting, it was gone. The animal will likely attempt to return home after regaining enough strength for the trip ahead.

[h/t Independent.ie]