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Wally the hitchhiking walrus has been spotted again

Monday, April 19th 2021, 3:58 pm - Guess who's back, back in town?

Back in March a walrus was seen on the shorelines of western Ireland, believed to have drifted there on an iceberg from the Arctic, possibly after falling asleep.

It's an exceptionally rare occurrence. According to the BBC, citing the Irish Dolphin and Whale Group, it represents the third such sighting in Ireland since 1999.

That walrus has turned into a bit of a celebrity. It has been nicknamed Wally and was recently seen embarking on the long journey home, climbing onto passing ships in Wales, hitchhiking when he can, and "falling asleep on a slipway intended for lifeboats," LiveScience reported.


Wally is still in Wales and has been spotted again: this time in Tenby harbour where he was captured balancing a starfish on his nose:

Other activities include capsizing an inflatable dingy and attempting to climb onto a fishing boat.

The photo was snapped by Amy Compton, a volunteer with the Welsh Marine Life Rescue, an organization that has been monitoring Wally since he rolled into town.

"I couldn't believe it when [Wally] popped up with a starfish on its face, it was so funny and something you just didn't expect to see!" Compton said via ITV.

"It's an incredible experience to monitor such a beautiful and amazing creature, it's such a character!"

Wally has been attracting large crowds, but officials are pleading with the public to keep a safe distance. Wally isn't used to human attention, and experts don't want him getting accustomed to it.

"It's in his best interests to be left alone as much as possible, so we're asking people to remember he is a wild animal and avoid the temptation to get near to him and disturb him," officials at the Penbrokeshire Coast in Wales said in the statement issued earlier this month.

That warning goes especially for water recreationists, the organization added.

"We're really concerned to hear reports that some people have tried to get close to him by using jet skis or paddle and surfboards — this really isn't in his best interest, and we urge people to act responsibly."

Thumbnail image, file photo, courtesy of: Pixabay.

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