A walrus sunk a Russian navy boat out of fear that the vessel was endangering her calves.
Last week, on Sept. 18, a group of researchers with the Center of the Russian Geographical Society (RGO) were sailing into waters near a remote island chain called Franz Josef Land when the walrus attacked, RGO explained in a statement.
The boat then began to sink, but the passengers were able to make it to safety. No injuries have been reported.
“The boat sank, but the tragedy was avoided thanks to the clear actions of the squad leader,” RGO said. “All the landing participants safely reached the shore.”
RGO revealed that expeditions like these are extremely risky as the animals aren’t “expecting humans in the Arctic.”
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In addition, “storms and low temperature” make traveling conditions very dangerous.
In a separate release issued by the Northern Fleet, obtained by Newsweek, authorities said, “During a landing at Cape Heller, a group of researchers had to flee from a female walrus, which, protecting its cubs, attacked an expedition boat.”
“Seriously troubles were avoided thanks to the clear and well-coordinated actions of the Northern Fleet servicemen, who were able to take the boat away from the animals without harming them.”
According to National Geographic, a walrus can weigh up to 1.5 tons (3,000 pounds).
Their tusks, which are found on both males and females, can extend to about three feet, and are “large canine teeth,” which continue to grow throughout their lives, according to National Geographic.
Their massive teeth are used to haul their “enormous bodies out of frigid waters and to break breathing holes into ice from below.”