Jonathan Mullard
British Wildlife 33.4 February 2022

The wandering Walrus and other Arctic vagrants

The arrival of Wally the Walrus in 2021 caused quite a stir, and the Walrus’s journey was closely followed in the media. But this is not the first time an unexpected visitor has reached our shores. Jonathan Mullard explores the historical records of Walruses in British and Irish waters, and describes other Arctic vagrants that have been seen here over the years.

On 14th March 2021, Alan Houlihan in-formed the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) and the media that he and his daughter Muireann had seen a juvenile Atlantic Walrus Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus sleeping on the rocks of Valentia Island, in Co Kerry. This was the start of a saga that lasted until October that year and generated regular reports in the newspapers, with numerous photographs and videos posted online.

Natural reflections
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