On his first voyage to find a northeastern passage to India, Jacques Cartier reached the Magdalen Islands and spotted a large group of walruses. Back in the day, sailors called them sea cows.
During this period, Atlantic walruses were hunted excessively by European settlers for their oil and tusks. They will gradually disappear from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Atlantic walrus is officially declared extinct in the Maritimes due to over-hunting by European settlers.
There are around 22,000 walruses in Canada. They live in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea, James Bay and the Labrador coast. According to biologists, walruses are unlikely to return to the Maritimes, as the current population prefers colder climates.