UK & World News
Walrus Makes Surprise Visit To Orkney Beach
A walrus has headed back to sea after surprising locals on a small island in Orkney over the weekend.
The animal was spotted by a birdwatcher on Bride's Ness beach, North Ronaldsay, on Sunday, hundreds of miles from his usual home territory in the Arctic.
The walrus, which had tusks around 16 inches (40cm) long, caused quite a stir on the island as it dozed and relaxed on the beach for most of the day.
It is not known what brought the healthy-looking male to the Orkney coastline but experts were surprised at how tame and approachable it was.
It is the first time a walrus has been seen in the area for 26 years.
The markings and scars were said to be similar to those of another animal photographed in the Faroe Islands in February.
On Monday there was no sign of the animal and it appears to have ended its visit to our shores.
Walruses usually live in shallow waters and on sea ice around Canada, Alaska and Greenland.
Their population dropped in the 19th and 20th centuries when they were widely hunted for their blubber, ivory and meat.
They have now rebounded in numbers after hunting became largely illegal. Their main predators are killer whales and polar bears.