A walrus that accidentally made its way from the Arctic Circle to an Irish beach last month, probably while nibbling on a drifting iceberg, has continued its antics by climbing on passing ships and even falling asleep on a slipway meant for lifeboats.
As the marine mammal, affectionately named Wally, has become something of a tourist attraction, conservation groups and local authorities are concerned that so much human attention could disturb the walrus. They are now warning tourists to leave the area walrus alone after reports from the Easter weekend that jet ski riders, surfers and paddleboarders have disturbed the killer whale and sniffed mammals by getting too close.
A 5-year-old girl who went with her father first saw Wally on March 1
But Wally’s journey did not end on that beach. He traveled 450 kilometers further south, from Kerry County to Pembrokeshire, Wales, in just six days.
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Wally, that was visually identified of a conservation group like the same walrus seen in Ireland has created malice by pulling rides on passing ships. Cow-sized mammals’ cumbersome attempts to board a dinghy ended up capsizing it, witnesses said.
A joint statement issued by the RSPCA, Tenby Harbor Master, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby Lifeboat Station, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Monitoring has warned tourists not to get too close to Wally, which is protected by 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.
“We understand that it is exciting and unusual for the walrus to take up temporary residence in Tenby and that many people during the banking holiday will want to visit the area in hopes of catching a glimpse of him,” they said in the announcement. “However, it is in his best interest to be alone as much as possible, so we ask people to remember that he is a wild animal and avoid the temptation to get close to him and disturb him.”
The statement specifically called recreational in the nearby waters. “We are really concerned to hear reports that some people have tried to get close to him by using jet skis or paddle and surfboards – this is really not in his best interest and we encourage people to act responsibly in this weekend and if they are in the area to enjoy him from a distance, ”the statement said.
It is rare for walruses to be seen so far south of the Arctic Circle, where they typically hunt for shellfish in shallow water and rest on nearby beaches and icebergs. The first recorded walrus sighting along the Irish coast was in 1897. Since then, fewer than two dozen extra walruses have been seen in Ireland, WordsSideKick.com previously reported.
Walrus is not the only Arctic animal that has been recorded during a southern holiday: In 2018 a white whales were seen off Gravesend in Kent and in 1949 two narwhales appeared in the Thames and the Medway canal.
Originally published on WordsSideKick.com.