Huge walrus spotted basking in the sunshine off Inner Hebrides coast
1st March 2023

Huge walrus is spotted basking in the sunshine on rock off the coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides

  • Walrus sighting in Scotland reported to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
  • Creel Fisherman took photos of the creature on a rocky outcrop on Monday
  • READ MORE: Thor the walrus resurfaces in Iceland after he was spotted in UK

A huge walrus has been spotted basking in the sunshine off the coast of the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

A local creel fisherman Lorn MacRae spotted the hefty sea mammal hauled out on a rocky outcrop called Cairn Na Burgh Beag – a small island which forms part of the Trenish Isles, which is off Mull’s north west coast. 

He reported his incredible sighting to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) – who called the walrus ‘massive’, after encountering the animal on Monday.

HWDT, a marine charity which have been collecting sightings reports off Scotland’s west coast for over 25 years, said this is the first report of a walrus in their database making it a significant record for the region.

Mr MacRae said: ‘It was a surprise to see the walrus hauled out, the Atlantic grey seals seemed to be giving it a wide berth.’

A fisherman spotted a huge walrus (pictured) basking in the sunshine off the coast of the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Fisherman Lorn MacRae reported his sighting to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) – who called the walrus ‘massive’, after encountering the walrus (pictured) on Monday

Walruses are rarely seen in Scottish waters but there have been several reports of them being sighted in the UK.

READ MORE: Nice sea-ing you! Thor the celebrity walrus slips back into the water after delighting crowds across the British coast for the New Year


Over the festive period, a large male walrus – known as Thor – was spotted in Yorkshire. Prior to that sighting he had been reported in the Netherlands and off the coast of France.

However, Thor the walrus was last recorded in Iceland last Friday, so for the Mull sighting to be him he would have had to have made an ‘incredible journey’.

HWDT have asked anyone who sees walruses in the area to report it on their tool Whale Track and send in photos. They say that reporting sightings of this walrus will allow them to ‘monitor the movement and health of the animal and add to the understanding of marine life off Scotland’s coasts’.

Sadie Gorvett, HWDT’s education officer, said: ‘Reporting through Whale Track provides us with vital data on the species in our seas, helping monitor the different species.

‘Through Photo-ID, we can find out more about the animals life, monitoring its movements and health.

‘We don’t have walrus as a specific species in Whale Track as it is such a rare sighting, however people can report it using the category “other” and put the species in the comments section.’

The charity said that while the sighting was ‘exciting’ concerns over welfare are raised when walruses are hauled out in more populated areas.

They also said it is important to maintain a ‘safe and respectful distance’ of over 328ft (100m), not to remain in the vicinity of the animal for more than 15 minutes and limit the numbers who are watching the creature.

The marine mammal was found lounging on a floating dock by Ellis Elisson, 41, who was supervising one of his fishing boats at the harbour

Molly Gray, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: ‘We ask that everyone behaves sensibly and responsibly in response to the news of another Walrus in the area, and we advise giving the animal a very wide berth to avoid disturbing it.

‘Walruses travel long distances and have rest stops to recover and regain energy before moving on again, and being disturbed by people being too close or noisy will impact its chance of survival. If you are concerned about the animal’s welfare please contact BDMLR on 01825 765546 (option 1).’

HWDT added that it was unclear why that in recent years there are more reports of walruses in more southern areas – and they can only find the cause with further long-term monitoring.

They asked that if members of the public spot a walrus, or whale, dolphin, porpoise or basking shark in Scottish seas, to please report it.

Source: Read Full Article