Walrus at North Ronaldsay and Sanday, 2018

Walrus at Sanday

Walrus at Sanday, 2018 (Neave, R. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/sandayranger/posts/2142047312690907. Copyright Russel Neave. Used with permission).

Lewis Hooper, volunteer at North Ronaldsay bird observatory, spotted a walrus in North Ronaldsay and another or the same animal was photographed from Russel Neave at Sanday, both Orkney Islands (Arctic walrus spotted in North Ronaldsay and Sanday, 2018).  Another walrus, also sighted at North Ronaldsay, was reported from Mark Warren of the North Ronaldsay bird observatory in 2013 (Walrus basks in Orkney attention, 2013).

This seldom visitor is of some interest regarding a dead „sea monster“ case:

In September 1894 it is reported that a „Kirkwall correspondent“ told press that „some sea monster has been washed ashore at Traittland, Ronsay. It resembles a walrus, is from 10ft. to 12ft. long, and in a decomposed state. The back of the neck is like that of an elephant; the snout resembles a pig, and on the body is greyish hair“ . Another one said that „it is thicker than a horse, but is probably much wasted by decompositon. The colour is a light grey(A sea monster, 1894). The descriptions vary depending on the source, so was also reported that it had „two rows of terrible looking teeth in the upper jaw, a snout like a rhinoceros, and was covered with grey-coloured bristles“ (Death of the sea serpent, 1894).

This is still an open case. Speculations and supposed identifications reach from walrus to basking shark (Heuvelmans, 1968; Vaudrey, 2012).


Arctic walrus spotted in North Ronaldsay and Sanday. (2018, March 9) Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-43343246

A sea monster. (1894, September 18). The Derby Daily Telegraph.

Death of the sea serpent. (1894, September 19). The Huddersfield Daily Chronicle.

Heuvelmans, B. (1968). In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents. New York: Hill and Wang.

Neave, R. (2018). Walrus at Sanday. [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/sandayranger/posts/2142047312690907. Copyright Russel Neave. Used with permission.

Vaudrey, G. (2012). Sea serpent carcasses: Scotland. Woolserey: CFZ Press.

Walrus basks in Orkney attention. (2013, March 3). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-21647421

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