Every now and then, a story takes to the headlines and, then, gets covered up with everything bad happening in the world. A Russian navy boat was taken down, but it’s not what everyone thinks. It wasn’t taken out with a bomb or with enemy fire. Instead, it was taken down by a very angry mother walrus who was looking to protect her cubs. It sounds almost too unbelievable to be true – but press releases and reports confirm that it happened just outside of the Arctic Circle.
Walruses are typically creatures that keep to themselves. The only time they ever show signs of aggressiveness is if they feel that they are under attack. One mother walrus felt as though this was happening, which is why she stepped in to take down a Russian Navy boat that was out in the Arctic Ocean. They’re probably lucky that the walrus didn’t try to climb on board. That could have ended a lot worse for everyone involved.
Scientists were spending time in a Russian Navy tugboat that was headed to the Franz Josef Land archipelago, found in the Arctic Ocean. They were headed to shore so that they could study some of the flora and fauna. While they were in a rubber landing craft, a female walrus chose then to attack. The massive tusks popped the rubber, causing the vessel to sink.
The Northern Fleet of the Russian military issued a press release. They talked about a Cape Heller landing and how a group of researchers had to flee from the angry mother walrus. The walrus was trying to protect her cubs, which is why she chose to attack the boat. The cubs were never touched by the scientists – and all is well now that the “threat” has been properly dealt with.
A drone was flying above the group of walruses on a nearby beach in an effort to take scientific photos. This likely caused the walruses to be spooked, which is why the one instinctually went into a maternal defense. No one would have seen it coming. Although the research scientists are well aware of what a walrus can do, no one would have expected a walrus to actually approach them to the point that their boat would sink.
While the report doesn’t talk about the navy boat actually sinking, there is mention of the “serious troubles” that they had to avoid. Luckily, the Northern Fleet servicemen were well-coordinated. It ensured that the boat was brought away from the walruses without causing any harm to them.
National Geographic has reported that the walruses found around the Arctic Circle can weigh as much as 1.5 tons. Further, they have the ability to reach up to 11.5 feet – approximately twice the length of a human. They’re not naturally aggressive. However, the massive tusks have been used as deadly weapons, especially when they have to defend themselves from predators larger than themselves. Mother walruses, particularly, will be aggressive if they feel as though their cubs are in danger.
It’s not every day that you hear about a Russian navy boat being taken down. In today’s day and age, hearing about a boat being sunk would likely sound as though Iran or North Korea chose to attack. In this case, it wasn’t about some kind of global war being started. It was simply about how nature researchers were in the wrong place. Their drones caused animals to be spooked, and, as a result, they found their rubber boat being pierced by the tusk of a mother walrus.
There have been some amazing photographs shared of the massive land and sea creatures spending time together at the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Luckily, the drones were able to capture the animals in their natural habitat without causing any physical harm to them. While a few may have been momentarily traumatized by the sound or appearance of the drone, they were able to recover quickly enough.
The scientists, too, were not harmed. It is unclear as to whether the rubber boat was able to be fixed or if it has been taken out of the fleet due to being damaged by an angry mother walrus. The scientists should have quite the story to tell since it’s not a story that most people will ever have the chance to live through.
It’s certainly nice to know that a semi-symbiotic relationship can take place where research scientists can take amazing photos and see animals in their natural habitat. Maybe next time, they show up on a boat that isn’t easily poppable.