Wally’s vacation comes to an end as experts predict that famous walruses will soon return to their Arctic homeland

Wally’s summer vacation draws to a close: the world’s most famous walrus plucks Ireland’s last rays of sunshine as experts predict he will soon return to his Arctic homeland

  • Experts tracking Wally the walrus hope it will return north when temperatures cool
  • He has lately been lounging around the harbors southwest of Cork
  • The 800 kg walrus was lazily photographed on a floating pontoon this weekend
  • Last month he was caught taking a nap in a speedboat in Crookhaven
  • Experts say it’s important for the social animal to return home to be with others


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The world’s most famous walrus could end its summer vacation as scientists predict it will soon return to its Arctic homeland.

Wally was spotted soaking up the last rays of sunshine on a floating pontoon off Ireland’s southwest coast, where temperatures reached a balmy 25 degrees Celsius over the weekend.

The wandering walrus captures the imagination of wildlife enthusiasts around the world with its travels, including stops in France, Spain and the Isles of Scilly.

But as fall approaches, marine experts hope the 800kg young male will return to the colder waters of the Arctic and reunite with other walruses.

“Wally is a bit unpredictable, but we hope he will move north before winter,” said Melanie Croce, director of Seal Rescue Ireland, which monitors the walrus’ movements.

“This is the season when the pack ice grows and extends further south and when walruses gather in the Arctic.

“Walrus are social creatures and Wally is no exception, so we hope he finally decides it’s time to go home.”

Wally, the world's most famous walrus, could end his summer vacation as scientists predict he will soon return to his Arctic homeland

Wally, the world’s most famous walrus, could end his summer vacation as scientists predict he will soon return to his Arctic homeland

Wally was spotted soaking up the last rays of sunshine on a floating pontoon off Ireland's southwest coast, where temperatures reached a balmy 25 degrees Celsius over the weekend

Wally was spotted soaking up the last rays of sunshine on a floating pontoon off Ireland's southwest coast, where temperatures reached a balmy 25 degrees Celsius over the weekend

Wally was spotted soaking up the last rays of sunshine on a floating pontoon off Ireland’s southwest coast, where temperatures reached a balmy 25 degrees Celsius over the weekend

The wandering walrus captures the imagination of wildlife enthusiasts around the world with its travels, including stops in France, Spain and the Isles of Scilly

The wandering walrus captures the imagination of wildlife enthusiasts around the world with its travels, including stops in France, Spain and the Isles of Scilly

The wandering walrus captures the imagination of wildlife enthusiasts around the world with its travels, including stops in France, Spain and the Isles of Scilly

In recent weeks, Wally has been seen regularly among the pontoons and boats in the harbors and bays along Cork’s southwest coast.

He has fed on mussels and clams from the seabed and is in good physical condition, according to Croce.

However, hordes of tourists flocking to the area are causing trouble for Wally, whose home is likely to be Greenland.

“He’s been disturbed by people in boats and kayaks getting close to him, and although he’s quite sociable, he can pose a serious risk to them if startled,” Croce said.

“He’s a huge animal and all he has to do is turn on someone and the consequences would be pretty serious.

“Walrus have to fight polar bears in the wild, so they can’t be messed with.”

Wally feeds on mussels and clams from the seabed and is in good physical condition, according to an expert

Wally feeds on mussels and clams from the seabed and is in good physical condition, according to an expert

Wally feeds on mussels and clams from the seabed and is in good physical condition, according to an expert

Since August 18, Wally has been regularly seen among the pontoons and boats in the harbors and bays along the south west coast of Cork, Ireland

Since August 18, Wally has been regularly seen among the pontoons and boats in the harbors and bays along the south west coast of Cork, Ireland

Since August 18, Wally has been regularly seen among the pontoons and boats in the harbors and bays along the south west coast of Cork, Ireland

Seal Rescue Ireland has installed two floating pontoons and an inflatable boat for Wally to hoist on, but he hasn’t been seen since the weekend when the heat wave ended.

“When the weather gets worse, he tends to go out to sea for a few days, where he’ll eat, and he’ll come back when things get better.

“We really hope he decides to go home, although of course he won’t be aware of climate change and what lies ahead.

“It is likely that we will see more roving Arctic species like Wally in the coming years as they are being displaced by the effects of climate change.”

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