UPDATE: Walrus found on the shore in Hamina, Finland has died, causing some outrage

UPDATE: Walrus found on the shore in Hamina, Finland has died, causing some outrage. Image: Twitter @poliisi_kaakko

THE Walrus that graced the waters of Hamina in Finland, caused havoc with boating equipment but won the hearts of many locals has sadly died.

UPDATE  11.30 am (July 20) – After several days in the waters off the shores of Salmenvirta, located in Salmenkylä, a few kilometres from the centre of Hamina in Finland, the walrus has died.

It was on its way to the Korkeasaari Wildlife Hospital when it died late on Tuesday, July 19. According to the Korkeasaari zoo, the trials and transport of the last few days were too heavy for the weak animal.

“An attempt was made to transfer the one that landed in Kotka #mursu (Walrus) to the care of Korkeasaari #Villieläinsairaala on Tuesday evening by the authorities’ decision,” the zoo wrote on Twitter.

“The trials and transport of the last few days were too heavy for the weak animal and it died on the way. Thanks to all the helpers!”

However, many people questioned why the animal wasn’t better looked after while it was in the Finnish city, which is located approximately 145 km east of the country’s capital Helsinki.

One person on Twitter wrote: “I don’t appreciate. God, what a joke the whole thing was. We drove some cage there with a tractor with the thought “well, maybe we’ll get it there someday”. You would have put the animal to sleep and rushed it to the sea immediately. That would have been caring.”

Another said: “Why wasn’t the walrus rescued days ago? Why was it claimed that a walrus was “adventuring” from Korkeasaari just yesterday? Why didn’t you do anything before it was too late?”

However, not everyone reacted angrily to the death of the walrus, one person pondered: “Mursu’s journey was touching in many ways, not least because of how it ended. The animal ended up in an unfamiliar area, became stressed and became threatening. And in the midst of it all seek refuge.

“Could the #mursu story help us also remember people’s stories and the longing for safety?”

While another person paid tribute: “I hope a state funeral will be organized for Mursu. Everyone must have the opportunity to say goodbye to Mursu. It’s the least we can do.

“The sun isn’t the sun if it doesn’t shine in your eyes.
Rain isn’t rain if it doesn’t wet your hair.”

“RIP Walrus.”

Korkeasaari’s director of animal care and protection Nina Trontti said: “I would hope for understanding, because the situation was new for everyone. We tried to act in the best possible way to help the animal. In addition, the walrus went to swim in the sea by itself in front of Hamina and got into a rut.

“It is very difficult to help before it is in an unnecessarily poor condition.”

UPDATE 3.10 pm (July 15) – The Finnish Police have provided an update on the walrus found behind a boat on the shores of Hamina in Finland, an incident described as ‘extremely rare’.

After a walrus was found alive on the shores of Finland’s Hamina on Friday, July 15, a veterinarian on duty, rescue services and other authorities and experts were called to the scene.

According to the police, “the veterinarian visually examined the walrus lying on the beach. At first, there was doubt about the starving state of the walrus, because it was in a completely wrong habitat for it.

“The rescue service arrived to take care of watering the large wild animal and assist in a possible capture.”

Inspector Ilari Saarikivi of the Southeastern Finland Police Department said: “In Finland, such an animal is rare, and its discovery in Hamina immediately aroused a lot of interest. For the safety of the walrus and bystanders, we isolated the beach area.”

After lying on the beach for several hours, the walrus moved to the coastal water and left Salmenvirra to swim south. 

Saarikivi said: “The veterinarian found the walrus to be in good health, so we stayed to watch the walrus swim. The walrus, which was swimming at a steady pace, was released from observation near Haminanlahti, and it was allowed to continue its journey towards Ulappa,”

The police warned that “if you see a walrus in the coastal area, it is a good idea to report the sightings to the emergency centre.”

It added: “Under no circumstances should you approach the walrus, as it is a large wild animal, and humans are not part of its normal habitat.”

ORIGINAL 11.31 am (July 15) – A WALRUS has been found behind a boat on the shores of Hamina in Finland, in an incident described as ‘extremely rare’ by a local fire chief.

A special animal rescue mission is underway in Finland’s Hamina, located approximately 145 km east of the country’s capital Helsinki, after a walrus was found alive on the shore of Salmenvirta.

The ‘extremely rare’ incident in Salmenvirta, located in Salmenkylä, a few kilometres from the centre of Hamina, was captured by the Kymenlaakso Rescue Service and shared in a tweet.

“Perhaps the most unusual animal rescue mission in @kymenpelastus history is underway in Hamina, when a walrus has decided to come ashore,” the tweet read.

“Mursu is currently being irrigated and further measures are being determined.”

According to local media reports, it is not yet known how the walrus ended up on the beach.

Police are on the scene and have cordoned off the area.

Bystanders are not being allowed near the walrus because it can be dangerous, local experts said.

Officials do not want the animal to be disturbed while rescue missions are ongoing.

The Finnish Police wrote on Twitter: “At the moment, in addition to the police, there is also a rescue service and a veterinarian. The aim is to catch the animal so that it does not pose a danger to bystanders. The police hope that the walrus will be left alone and not be watched for nothing, even though it arouses interest.”

The plan, according to Yle journalist, Heini Rautoma, is to make sure the walrus doesn’t swim away as police and veterinarians on the scene want to transfer the walrus to the Korkeasaari Zoo for treatment.

According to Rautoma, there are dozens of people have gathered near the beach to watch the rare event.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.