What Eats A Walrus?

What Eats A Walrus? What Does Walrus Eat?


Walruses yield a large amount of flesh and are comparatively easy to catch. Despite their size and toughness, walruses are unable to compete with the majority of apex predators’ strength and speed.

The flesh and ivory of walruses are also hunted by some individuals. Because walrus ivory is so robust and can be carved into exquisite items, it is highly prized. In certain places, walrus populations have declined as a result of ivory hunting. Walruses are still widespread in the Arctic and Subarctic despite the risks they face. They are an integral component of the ecosystem and are crucial to maintaining the health of the Arctic environment.

The intricate dynamics of predator-prey relationships in these hostile habitats, as well as the fragile balance of Arctic ecosystems, are illuminated by an understanding of the interactions between walruses and their predators. Here are the predators of walrus:

Walrus Laying On An Ice
Walrus Laying On An Ice

1. Great white shark 

Large predators like great white sharks devour a wide range of creatures, including walruses. With a maximum length of 20 feet, these sharks are among the biggest and most feared predators in the ocean. They are a dangerous foe to any animal because of their razor-sharp fangs, which can readily rip through flesh.

As a top predator in the ocean food chain, great white sharks are crucial to maintaining the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Humans, however, pose a hazard to these sharks since they frequently hunt them for their valuable teeth or fins. Furthermore, fishermen who are trying to catch other species occasionally unintentionally capture great white sharks. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated the great white shark as a vulnerable species as a result of these concerns.

Great white sharks are incredibly cautious creatures despite their intimidating image. They are more likely to run from harm than to come under attack. There are very few known instances of great white sharks attacking people without warning. A great white shark can be a terrible foe, though, if it feels threatened. It is known that when boats and people venture into their zone, these sharks may attack.

2. Polar bears 

Walruses are naturally preyed upon by polar bears. Polar bears frequently pursue wounded or young calves when hunting walruses. Additionally, reports exist of a polar bear hunting an adult walrus that is in good health2. Polar bears and walruses have a relationship that is typical of predator and prey. This indicates that when a polar bear is around, walruses have been known to exhibit signs of fear and anxiety. Because of this, walruses frequently flee from their herd if they see a polar bear nearby. A walrus will, therefore, withdraw into the ocean, where it can move more quickly than a polar bear 3.

A walrus may have no choice but to physically protect itself against a polar bear. The polar bear has the option to retreat if it chooses not to kill the walruses. This explains why tusk-related injuries have been observed on some polar bears4.

3. Whales

A few whales are also after walruses. For instance, it has been noted that orcas, commonly referred to as killer whales, hunt walruses in packs. These hunts may take place in the deep sea as well as inshore waters8. It is purposeful for killer whales to hunt walruses.

killer whales are highly successful walrus predators. With a weight of up to 50 tons, they are the biggest dolphins. They may easily take down walruses by crushing their bones with their powerful jaws.

In 2008, scientists saw orcas hunting walruses; they published a report on their observations in Biology Bulletin. The orcas assaulted the entire pod of walruses throughout the hunt before deciding to target a wounded adult or calf. In 17 minutes, they launched up to 55 attacks on the target, but in this case, the quest was ultimately fruitless.

The orcas continued to pursue the walruses even after they withdrew to shore, which may surprise you. While the walruses were sleeping, they started to breach the shore and jump out of the ocean. This prevented the walruses from escaping into the sea.

Group Of Walrus On Ice
Group Of Walrus On Ice

4. Humans 

Humans are the largest predators of walruses as they hunt for their meat, blubber, and ivory tusks. Although it is currently prohibited in the majority of nations, hunting walruses is nevertheless practiced in several regions of the world. Because they depend on walruses for food or a living, some people hunt them out of need. Since walruses are seen as trophies that should be pursued and killed, the majority of people hunt them for sport.

The number of walruses has suffered as a result of hunting. Large-scale animal population reductions can hurt the population’s general health and increase its vulnerability to illness and other hazards. In addition, walrus hunting has the potential to upend the animals’ social systems and boost hostility.

It is currently the case that the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists walruses as a species of least concern. On the other hand, walruses may eventually become endangered if current rates of hunting persist.

5. Land Predators (Wolves, Grizzly Bears)

Walruses may be opportunistically preyed upon by land predators like grizzly bears and wolves, especially in situations where these sea mammals pull out onto beaches or ice floes. When walruses are young, ill, injured, or show other signs of vulnerability, they become prospective targets for these land predators.

 Wolves and bears may wait patiently near walrus haul-out places, such as beaches or ice floes, using their talents to track and ambush prey and strike when the time is right. When these predators kill a walrus, they eat its carcass. Bears rip into the flesh with their strong jaws and claws, while wolves may start by eating the exposed meat and softer parts like the flippers. When these predators kill a walrus, they eat its carcass.

These predators frequently move any leftover food away from the coast or ice floe and into the interior, giving them access to isolated locations for feasting and lessening competition with other scavengers. 


Numerous predators in the animal kingdom feed on walruses. Sharks, orcas, and polar bears are some of these creatures. These predators are capable of killing walruses, although they usually reserve the right to do so for desperate situations or favorable opportunities. Humans are usually the main source of danger for walruses. The expansion of coastal areas and oil extraction have made walrus hunting more common. This has put the walrus at the risk of becoming extinct.


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