8 reasons narwhals are my favourite animal

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Their ivory horn makes them the closest thing to a unicorn. This is brilliant.

Male narwhals duel with their tusks. Like fencing but more majestic.

They live around the Arctic circle which along with the Northern Lights makes that part of the world really magical (not to mention Father Christmas)

The narwhal population is estimated at between 40,000 to 70,000 putting them at a healthy head count and generally observed as not at risk of extinction.  That means I can get attached without too much fear of heartbreak.

Females give birth every three years which makes them a bit savvier than the panda

Did I mention their beautiful tusks?
In medieval times, its long, straight tusk (or tooth) was passed off as a “unicorn horn" and often given to gullible royals. In the 16th century, a narwhal tusk worth £10,000 was given to Queen Elizabeth. Tres embarrassing. Not all narwhals have a tusk but those that do can have a tusk up to 10 feet long. That's one big gift. 

No one is 100% sure what their tusk is for. But it just looks really cool.

Some Inuit communities in the arctic circle are allowed to legally hunt the narwhal when their migratory routes take them closer to shore. Unfortunately rifles are used for hunting which means sometimes a narwhal is hit but doesn't die or simply swims away injured.

The best thing about narwhals?
There are currently none in captivity. And long  may it continue. Apparently in the sixties and seventies several attempts to capture narwhals were unsuccessful with those that were caught, dying within months of being in captivity. I love the idea that they can't survive in human hands, it makes them completely out of bounds and free to stay in their pods. If you've read my article on Blackfish you'll know how strongly I feel about irresponsible captivity masked as conservation.

Verdict: Narwhals rock

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