A walrus in the River Severn in 1839

Sunday 26th March 2023


“Over the last twelve months or so there have been several sightings of walruses around the coast of Britain and north-west Europe. However this is not something new. I found a report in the Caledonian Mercury of July 4th 1839 of a walrus in the River Severn, as follows: “About a fortnight since a strange large animal was observed on the sands of the Severn at Purton, and as a man went towards it, it retreated towards the water. This emboldened the persuer, and he soon approached very near to the animal, upon which it turned around and exhibited a countenance of such apparently extraordinary ferocity and disposition to do battle ,that the man was glad in his turn to take flight with pretty considerable speed…On examination it turned out to be a walrus or morse, a well known animal of the seal tribe in the Polar seas but which very seldom ,we believe, is seen in these latitudes…” The image actually shows a Pacific walrus. (Wikipedia) Pacific Walrus - Bull (8247646168).jpg

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Richard Muirhead
Richard Muirhead has been a friend of the CFZ longer than anyone else. He first ,et Jon Downes in 1970 when they were both living in Hong Kong. They have been friends ever since.