Walrus spotted near Schiermonnikoog; First in NL in 23 years
A walrus was spotted on the beach of Schiermonnikoog on Monday, the first sighting of one of these massive marine mammals in the Netherlands since 1998. Seal sanctuary Ecomare called the sighting "very exceptional", NU.nl reports.
The walrus was spotted by Ralf van Hal, a researcher at Wageningen University. He saw the animal lying on a sandbank where seals often sunbathe. A walrus was also recently spotted in Germany and Denmark. It is believed to be the same animal.
An adult walrus weighs between 1,000 and 1,500 kilograms. They are native to the Arctic, and normally never leave the area. The one spotted on Schiermonnikoog is therefore a wanderer - an animal that is very far outside its habitat, a spokesperson for Ecomare said to NU.nl.
The animal seems to be uninjured, and Ecomare therefore will not intervene. "If she came here, she can also go back. And here she can also catch fish," the spokesperson said. It is also very difficult to catch an adult walrus, the spokesperson added. "They are very big."
We zijn wel wat gewend bij @waarneming maar dit blijft erg spectaculair voor Nederland! Een vrouwtje walrus op het strand van #Schiermonnikoog. De laatste Nederlandse waarneming stamt uit 1998 (Ameland). Houd afstand!— Waarneming.nl (@waarneming) September 20, 2021
Foto: Ralf van Hal@NOS @RTLnieuws @trouw @nrc @volkskrant pic.twitter.com/82McRRJjpv