- In this heartbreaking sequence, we see a polar bear attempting to hunt a walrus and become fatally injured.
- There are actually two types of walrus, Atlantic and Pacific walrus and their names describe where they live.
- The walrus in this clip inflicted fatal injuries on the poor polar bear with its tusks.
In this clip see a predator hunting a prey animal and it ends with a death. However, it is not the outcome that you were probably expecting. In this heartbreaking sequence, we see a polar bear attempting to hunt a walrus and become fatally injured. As the video below shows, the effect of global warming on arctic ice is severely affecting the survival of some species.
Watch the Heartbreaking Footage Below
What Exactly Is a Walrus?
The walrus is a pinniped which is a fin-footed mammal. They are in the Odobenus genus and are related to seals and sea lions. They have grey skin covered by a thin layer of small coarse hairs. These guys are also large! They can weigh over 3,500 pounds and be up to 12 feet in length. You will find them in the icy waters of the Arctic Circle.
There are actually two types of walrus – the Atlantic walrus and the Pacific walrus and their names describe where they live. However, it is also possible that a third species known as the Laptev Walrus exists although it may actually be the Pacific walrus that is living in a different location.
What Are Walrus Tusks?
Both male and female walruses have tusks and they grow continually throughout their lives. The tusks are actually teeth – modified upper canines to be exact – and can extend to about three feet in some walruses.
The walrus in this clip inflicted fatal injuries on the poor polar bear with its tusks but they are not just used for defense. Tusks represent a symbol of age, sex, and social status. Male tusks are longer and wider in proportion to their bodies than those of females. Also, males use them to show dominance and can be spotted thrusting their tusks in the air! They also use them to fight each other during the breeding season. Tusks are very useful for keeping breathing holes open in the ice. Finally, they can also be used to dig into floating ice when the walrus is trying to haul their massive weight up onto it!
Is It Normal Behavior for a Polar Bear to Attack a Walrus?
Yes, it is normal for polar bears to attack walruses. Although there may be a vast difference in size between the two animals, polar bears do in fact, hunt walruses. While a polar bear may be able to catch the occasional walrus while they are on land, it is quite rare for one to actually obtain a healthy adult walrus, especially if it retreats back into the water where it has the advantage.
Polar bears have been known to turn the walruses’ “herd” mentality against them. By chasing after the herd, these pinnipeds will stampede in an effort to escape the hunting bear, which can trample the younger and weaker of the species. This gives the polar bear an excellent opportunity to seize the wounded mammal and remain the victor.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/JohnPitcher
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