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John the Walrus on the visit Published 24.10.2008

Walruses enjoy company. When the walrus “John” felt lonely on September 27th 200 he visited the military camp at Daneborg, East Greenland.

The Sirius people noted a satellite transmitter on the back and a tag in the hind flipper. After a short visit, John disappeared again.

This particular walrus is an old acquaintance of Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. Back in 1999 he was anaesthetized and instrumentalized with a satellite transmitter on Sandøen in Young Sound, five km to the east of the camp. Then his age was estimated at 20-21 years according the size of the teeth. He was named after professor John Speakman, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. John has been observed every summer on Sandøen in 2002 through 2004 as well as in the last two years.

Again on July 18th 2008 he was equipped with a new type of satellite transmitter directly in the skin by Fernando Ugarte, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, to study how this 50 g transmitter works.

Still after 95 days john is sending signals. The transmitter will eventually fall of as the skin heals up.

For any further information please contact head of department Fernando Ugarte Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. Phone: +299 36 12 00. email: feug@natur.gl