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Wally ‘Stays Local’: Gallivanting walrus is seen in Welsh coastal town of Tenby again… two days after being scared off by photo-snapping tourists
- Wally the Walrus appears has been spotted in Tenby, south Wales, this morning
- There were concerns a large influx of visitors had scared the Arctic walrus away
- Marine charities had warned tourists hoping to spot the animal to keep distance
A giant walrus is keeping things local to south Wales as she was spotted in Tenby enjoying the sunshine despite concerns tourists had scared her away.
Wally the Walrus was spotted basking in the morning sunshine at its favourite spot in Tenby Harbour, Pembrokeshire, this morning.
The Arctic beast, said to be the size of a cow, had returned to the area this weekend after it was feared it had been scared away by crowds who had flocked to the coastal town to catch a glimpse.
Back again: Wally the Walrus was spotted on a slipway in Tenby, south Wales, this morning
The coastal town has seen a large number of visitors who have travelled to sea the arctic beast
Wally, named after the popular children’s book which asks readers to spot the title character among crowds, was first spotted in Tenby over the Easter weekend.
But animal welfare groups believe he initially fled the coastal town after becoming ‘obviously disturbed’ by day-tripper visitors vying for a snap.
Careless tourists tried to approach the wild walrus using jet-skis, paddleboards, and drones, as it tried to rest in the town’s harbour.
Terry Leadbetter, of Welsh Marine Life Rescue, said: ‘It was an absolute nightmare trying to keep people away.
‘There were even people flying drones trying to get close. People were getting within a couple of metres of the walrus.’
‘Wally was aware that people were there and was obviously disturbed.
‘Walruses have been known to attack boats and they’ve been known to kill people so like any other wild animal you don’t want to get too close just in case.
The walrus, which was first seen in Britain in mid March, was last seen in Tenby two days ago
‘These people are just going up to it and taking their chances. They are unpredictable, and you don’t know if they are likely to turn around and attack someone or not.
‘Someone who is acting irresponsibly could get injured.’
Despite the unwanted attention, Wally has seemingly taken a liking to the area, having been spotted in the harbour on at least four days since the start of the month.
Experts believe the animal may have dozed off on a block of ice and drifted across the ocean.
The walrus is described as ‘about the size of a cow’ and was first spotted on rocks in County Kerry on March 15.
The RSPCA were called out to check on the creature – which is ‘underweight’ – at the bottom of a cliff near Broad Haven South beach in Pembrokeshire six days later.
The walrus was then spotted in Tenby at the start of the month and has remained there ever since.
The walrus is believed to have crossed Irish Sea after being spotted in County Kerry last month
The RSPCA have said that it is believed to be the furthest south a walrus has ever been sighted, with some previously being spotted in Scotland.
It was confirmed to be the same walrus that was spotted off the coast of Ireland due to the white markings on its flipper.
Arctic walruses normally live around the North Pole, northern Russia and Greenland. The nearest population to the UK and Ireland lives in the waters of Greenland and Svalbard.
They usually feed off molluscs and experts have said there are plenty of molluscs for Wally to survive on in the areas it has been spotted.
Dr Peter Richardson, head of ocean recovery at the Marine Conservation Society, told MailOnline: ‘It’s very unusual for one of these walruses to be this far south.
‘It’s a long way from home but it seems like a fit, fat, young walrus which may be capable of making it home.
‘They are known to travel vast distances but it’s so unusual [for one to be this far south] that it’s hard to say how it will be.’
The Irish Whale and Dolphin group (IWDG) estimated the walrus to be a young adult but it is not possible to determine the gender as both males and females have tusks.
Its tusks are only around 12 inches long, and a fully grown adult’s tusks can reach up to 40 inches long.
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