29 Mar Wally the walrus is back… and delights onlookers on the Welsh coast | UK News
Now here’s one Arctic nomad who knows how to chill out on the weekend.
Wally the walrus has been spotted again – this time lapping up the attention from Welsh onlookers on the RNLI lifeboat station’s slipway in Tenby on Sunday.
Putting on a spectacle, the giant mammal rolled around to show off its belly and even appeared to give a little wave to the cameras with its flipper.
But it’s tiring work being a coastline superstar, and it was soon time for a big stretch and a long afternoon nap.
The relaxed-looking mammal has had quite the adventure so far after initially drifting to Ireland on an iceberg – first spotted by five-year-old Muireann Houlihan off the coast of Valentina Island, County Kerry, on 15 March.
The same walrus was seen sunbathing on rocks on the Pembrokeshire coastline of South Wales on 21 March, but had not been seen since.
The second sighting led to the RSPCA being called out to check on the animal – and it was found to be in good health.
Animal rescue officer Ellie West said: “It seems this Arctic walrus has swum over to Wales and was resting on rocks when I went to check [on it].”
She said the walrus was “resting” and “wasn’t displaying any signs of sickness or injury”, although did appear to be “slightly underweight”.
The walrus has been seen for two days running on the RNLI’s slipway in Wales – and has been nicknamed Wally after the children’s puzzle book series Where’s Wally?, whose titular character is also hard to pin down.
However, the walrus’ gender has still not been determined.
Geoff Edmond, RSPCA national wildlife coordinator, said: “This was a landmark day for the RSPCA’s wildlife team.
“While we’ve been rescuing animals and responding to welfare calls for almost 200 years, I believe this is our first ever walrus call.”
Ms West added: “I will certainly never forget this day, in fact it’s still sinking in that I’ve been monitoring a walrus on the Pembrokeshire coast. It’s been absolutely amazing.”
Members of the public are advised to keep their distance and not approach or spook the walrus.
Anyone who spots Wally elsewhere or has concerns should call the RSPCA’s emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.