Is Wally finally going home? Euro-tripping Walrus leaves the UK after six weeks in the Isles of Scilly, departing for Ireland on the final stop of his summer tour – as experts hope he’s on his way to the Arctic
- Wally the Walrus has been in the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall since June and has been popular with tourists
- Experts designed a special pontoon for him so he could build up energy in hopes of going home
- It seems to have worked as the walrus has now moved north and was spotted in Irish waters this week
- Experts hope Wally, believed to be from Svalbard, Norway, will continue to head north and return home
Wally the Walrus has finally left the UK and swam to Ireland – with experts claiming he may be heading back to the Arctic.
The lone walrus has been on a 4,000km solo journey for months and spent more than six weeks off the coast of Cornwall.
The walrus is believed to have originated from Svalbard, north of Norway, and only traveled between Wales, Cornwall and France.
The walrus had been in the Isles of Scilly since June 17 and proved a popular hit with tourists and locals alike.
But now Wally has left St Mary’s – and locals think he’s going back to Ireland where he was first spotted.
Isles of Scilly resident and wildlife enthusiast Scott Reid tweeted: ‘Wally has finally left us! He brought so much joy to the islands during his extended visit, he will be missed! Enjoy your stay in Ireland, big fellow. Travel safely.’
Wally the Walrus has finally left the UK and swam to Ireland as experts claim he may be heading back to the Arctic
Animal welfare organizations believe it originally crossed the North Atlantic from Greenland on an ice floe.
It was first spotted in Ireland before taking up residence in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, in March.
Seal Rescue Ireland wrote on Facebook: ‘The Walrus is back in Irish waters!
The young male Atlantic Walrus, originally sighted on Valentia Island, County Kerry, last March, has returned to Irish waters after completing the European leg of its tour.
‘We ask if anyone encounters the Walrus to please:
‘1) Don’t approach him because he is a protected species. Observe calmly from a minimum of 300m and keep dogs on a lead.
Wally the Walrus swims back north after leaving his temporary home in the Isles of Scilly, experts say
The Seal Trust had warned that if he is constantly distracted, he will not gain the weight and energy for a long journey home
Wally, the famous Arctic Walrus who wreaked havoc on boat owners from the Isles of Scilly earlier this month after returning to the UK
‘2) Do not publicly disclose the location of the sighting to avoid drawing crowds to it. Keep in mind that this is a very sensitive species, and it is very far from its Arctic home.
3) Report sightings to SRI’s 24/7 Rescue Hotline on 0871955393. We have partnered with a number of wildlife organizations who have been monitoring his movements since he was first spotted last March, to minimize the risk of stress and injury and in hoping he will find his way back to his native northern waters.
As sea ice melts due to climate change, Arctic species such as walruses are losing their habitat and may be forced to explore new areas.
“This isn’t the first Arctic visitor Ireland has received in recent years (like Cloudberry the Ringed Seal), and it probably won’t be the last.”
Wally was pictured taking a ride on a boat so he could sunbathe and rest, while experts believe he was seeking physical contact
Locals in the Isles of Scilly have been warned to stay away from Wally the walrus, especially in ‘challenging’ high temperatures
Organizations and individuals, including British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust and the St Mary’s Harbor Team, had been monitoring Wally’s behavior and implementing strategies to ensure his safety and prevent damage to to limit property.
The walrus had ended up in hot water after getting used to climbing on dinghies in the area and damaging boats in St Mary’s Harbour.
A custom pontoon with his own scent was built for him so that he had a safe place to rest before he could travel again.
Dan Jarvis of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), which monitors the walrus, said a sighting was confirmed Monday afternoon.
He told the BBC: ‘We are very pleased that it worked out for the best. The best news would be that he continues to travel north on his own. We’ll just have to wait.
“He’s been a very popular character when he was here, but we’re all really happy he’s moved on now because we were starting to worry about how long this would last. He has certainly been a highlight and something to remember.”
BDMLR said in a statement shared with their supporters: “We hope that, having spent sufficient time recovering from his journey from South Wales to Scilly via Spain, this is a good sign that he now has the energy to drive itself back to the Arctic.
“We will of course continue to monitor his travels and assist our colleagues if help and advice is needed.”