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A Fishing Vessel Has Found an Elephant Tusk Off Kerry Coast

The crew on the trawler Cú Na Mara has recently discovered a rare find at sea in the Porcupine Basin off the Kerry Coast.

The fishermen on board Cú Na Mara were trawling for prawns around 120 miles west of Dingle when they caught an unusual object in their net. It was an elephant tusk that the crew initially thought belonged to a prehistoric mammoth.

The crew from the trawler then brought the tusk to marine biologist Dr. Kevin Flannery, who is one of the directors at the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium. Dr. Flannery then contacted another expert Dr. Connie Kelleher, who is an underwater archaeologist based in Killarney.

After examining the tusk, Dr. Connie stated that she believed the tusk came from a slave ship that might have drowned in the Porcupine Basin due to terrible weather. The experts also noted that the bad weather had scattered the ship's remains in the depths of the ocean. Hence, they cannot tell the name of the vessel from where the tusk might have come.

Slave ships at that time used to carry spices, ivory from slaughtered elephants, and unfortunate humans to be sold as slaves.

It is interesting to note that this is not the first tusk found by the Cú Na Mara. In November 2020, they found another tusk in the Porcupine Basin.

The experts have sent the elephant tusk to The National Museum of Ireland, where experts will conduct DNA testing to find more about the found tusk and its geographic origin.

The crew of a trawler fishing for prawns has found an elephant tusk from the ocean. Read the full article to learn more about this!

For the more recent discovery, Flannery consulted with several experts, including Dr. Connie Kelleher of the Parks and Wildlife Underwater Archaeology Unit, to identify the origins of the tusk.

Kelleher later concluded that the tusk originated from a slave ship that sunk in the Porcupine Basin off Kerry while carrying slaves to England or the USA.

"I contacted Dr. Connie Kelleher of the Parks and Wildlife Underwater Archaeology Unit, she's an expert in this, and she came and looked at it, and said to me that she thinks it’s from a slave ship that would have gone down off the Porcupine in extreme bad weather," Flannery told RTÉ News.

Flannery told RTE News: "They carried, obviously, ivory from the slaughter of elephants and they would have carried a cargo of humans as well for sale as they did with the slave trade."

Author: Shane O'Brien

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