The Altai, a tugboat attached to the Russian navy’s Northern Fleet, recently transported researchers from the Russian Geographical Society into waters near Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Sea. The Altai sent out a smaller inflatable landing craft to bring the researchers to the shores of Wilczek Island. However, before the boat could reach the beach, it was attacked-- and sunk-- by a female walrus. A Russian Geographical Society press release claimed that the walrus was likely “fearing for her cubs,” though the cow may just not be a fan of the Russian navy.
The press release noted: “The boat sank, but a tragedy was avoided thanks to the prompt action by the squad leader. All landing participants safely reached the shore.” The Russian navy confirmed the “attack,” though it predictably omitted the part about the boat sinking. The Red (faced) Navy’s Northern Fleet wrote: “During the landing at Cape Heller, a group of researchers had to flee from a female walrus who attacked an expedition boat when protecting her cub. Serious 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.”
I’m surprised the release didn’t read: “Dastardly surprise attack by U.S.-trained imperialist walrus was repulsed by valiant efforts of glorious Russian navy!”
In related news, two Russian destroyers and a submarine sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea recently when remoras aggressively attached themselves to the ship’s hulls.