Both Polar bears & walruses are certainly majestic Arctic creatures! Did you know that underwater walruses can be very curious, even quite agressive to the extent that kayakers are to be very cautious while exploring the Arctic ocean. Watch here the first below video…
In fact, walrus behaviour is very fascinating and can be amusing to observe. I invite you to watch the second video wich will give you some detailed insight about their habits… Breathtaking!
If you keep still, calm, silent on the beach front & with some respectful distance, walruses can come to you, be very social & show some kind of curiosity and friendship… But, be always very cautious and avoid being in the water as they are very agile in the sea, powerful swimmers and could start being suddenly very agressive using their tusks if they feel threatened… !
“… Television presenter Steve Leonard and film producer Jason Roberts are kayaking in the Arctic looking for Polar bears and run the gauntlet of curious walruses who end up attacking Steve’s kayak…. That was unpleasant...!”.
This is a wonderful film to watch in order to know more about the walrus community & behaviour! Did you know, there are 2 communities : The Atlantic (East Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Josef Land) walrus (between 20.000 and 30.000 animals) and the Pacific (Alaska, Siberia…) walrus (approx. 200.000) … more info under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walrus ?
Males can weigh up 1500 kg, while females can weigh up 900 kg. Walrus cows give birth to calves which are approx. 1.3 meters long and weigh around 85 kg and the calves stay with their mother for 2-3 years. The tusks of large walrus bulls may grow to be 1 meter long and weigh 5 kg each… more info under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walrus
The smell and the sounds of a large group of walrus are quite impressive. To avoid any disturbance, you are asked to respect several wildlife guidelines – for example: (1) landings must be made in a minimum distance of 300 meters from the haul-out site. Make sure that the wind di- rection is from the walruses and towards the visitor group. (2) divide into smaller groups (< 50). Do not walk up to the animals from different directions and the visitors should approach from only one side of a walrus group (3) walk slowly towards the animals, make stops and watch reactions to your presence (4) avoid making a half circle around the animals. The visiting group should stay together to reduce the impact of their presence… further info >> Lonely walrus on the Svalbard Arctic ocean drifting pack-ice taking some nice warm sun!