The attempt to save the walrus fails – experts are looking for the cause of death

The attempt to save the walrus fails – experts are looking for the cause of death

A walrus that landed several times in southeast Finland in recent days died while being transported to the Helsinki Korkeasaari Wildlife Hospital, the zoo tweeted late Tuesday evening.

According to the zoo, the combination of the animal’s weakened condition and the ordeal associated with its examination and transport was too much for it.

The condition of Mursu’s cow started to deteriorate on Tuesday, when the animal returned to land in the city of Kotka that morning.

It was sedated around 7pm for examination and then successfully loaded onto a wildlife transport vehicle around 10pm.

It took several hours to transfer the animal to the transport vehicle.

The walrus’ condition worsened over the course of the day, according to the director of animal welfare at Korkeasaari Zoo. Nina Trontti.

"The animal was already in bad condition during the day, very quiet, did not move much and was breathing rather heavily. Anesthetizing animals is always a risk, but we wanted to try to help the animal," he told Yle TV1’s breakfast program on Wednesday.

Korkeasaari Wildlife Hospital is Finland’s largest treatment facility for injured and orphaned wild animals.

The rescue service’s vehicle was parked next to a walrus on Tuesday.Juha Metso / AOP

The first reports of walrus sightings in Finland started last week in the seaside town of Hamina.

After returning to the sea on Sunday, the marine mammal got caught in a fisherman’s net.

After being released from that ordeal, the walrus appeared on Tuesday in Kotka, 150 meters from the river bank, climbed into a residential area. That evening, however, the experts decided to transport the sick animal to the zoo for treatment.

According to Finnish law, wild animals in distress must be helped by alternative means, such as transport to specialist care or euthanasia.

Trontti stated that the zoo has received many questions from the public about why the walrus has not been helped before, for example by giving it food and water.

"I hope people understand because it was a new situation for everyone. We tried our best to help the animal," he explained, noting that the walrus swam on its own while visiting the banks of the Hamina River last week.

The walrus was seen for the first time on the banks of the Suomen river last week in the town of Hamina.Juha Metso / AOP

"It would have been difficult to catch it at that point," Trontti said.

There is no plan to hold a memorial service for the dead walrus, but the animal’s carcass will be taken to a pathologist for examination.

The aim is to find out if his death was due to poor physical condition or other reasons.

According to experts, the walrus probably spent some time swimming around the Baltic Sea, in an area where there is no food that the animal needs. Among other things, walruses eat large quantities of mussels.

Source: The Nordic Page




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