The seaside town of Hamina received a very unusual visit from a walrus that crawled onto the beach until it returned to the water under its own power on Friday.
The animal, which was watered by rescue workers to prevent dehydration, was found lying between rowing boats on the shore of the Salmenvirta River, a couple of kilometers north of the center of Hamina.
In addition to curious onlookers, the walrus stranded on the beach also caught the attention of experts.
Seal researcher Mervi Kunnasranta beachfrom the University of Eastern Finland, said that since the animal swam out by itself, it was no longer necessary to follow it.
"The best part was that it went away on its own. Nature takes care of itself," he said.
Kunnasranta was already on his way from Joensuu on Friday, but turned back after hearing that the walrus had left.
The situation attracted dozens of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the creature, although they were kept far enough away from it.
Police cordoned off the area due to the danger posed by the walrus and to ensure it was left undisturbed. Rescue services and a veterinarian monitored the animal’s condition throughout the visit.
from Hamina Minna Harju said he and a colleague watched the walrus crawl onto the beach around 10 a.m. Friday, and it felt like they were watching a TV nature show.
Harju said that because of its long teeth, he thought it was an older walrus, adding that the animal was calm during the hour he watched it lying on the beach.
Markus DernjatinThe curator of Helsinki’s Sea Life aquarium, said he couldn’t believe the news when he heard the news about the beach walrus for the first time and echoed the opinions of other experts about the extremely rare situation.
Dernjatin said that wild animals such as whales and even a sea turtle have been spotted along the coast of Finland, but this was the first time he had heard of a walrus in the area.
He said the animal was likely the same as elsewhere on the Baltic coast, adding that the walrus may have swum hundreds of kilometers and then lost its way.
According to Dernjatin, walruses typically thrive in extreme northern areas, such as the Arctic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
"A walrus was seen in Ireland in the spring and a week ago on the coast of Poland. There are always individual animals that stray from time to time. They pass through the Danish straits. They are usually young individuals, but it is difficult to say why they wander off," Dernjatin said.
Source: The Nordic Page