‘Wally the Walrus’ finally returns to UK bay after being scared off by tourists
‘Wally the Walrus’ has finally returned to a British harbour – just weeks after being scared off by tourists.
The popular mammal was seen back in the seaside town of Tenby, Wales, over the weekend for the first time since Easter.
Volunteers from a marine charity are now looking after his welfare to try and stop people and boats and frightening him off again.
Tessa Pound, who runs a local holiday home, filmed Wally from Tenby lifeboat station on Saturday.
She said that, from what she saw, people were being respectful of the animal, which is thought to have come from Greenland.
“It was the first time that we had seen the walrus,” she said.
“He was swimming around, coming up and down every five minutes or so.
“There was a large crowd of people watching, photographing and videoing. Just all quietly watching him really, very respectfully.”
But the Welsh Marine Life Rescue team said some of its volunteers had received “verbal abuse” after telling people off for getting too close to Wally in the harbour in Pembrokeshire.
It also claimed people had been throwing stuff at Wally and boats had been trying to lure it closer.
The charity is now appealing for extra volunteers who will be able to help look after the walrus and make sure it is out of harm’s way.
They said: “Our small team of volunteers are struggling to monitor and maintain the welfare of Tenby’s star attraction, Wally the walrus.
“The girls volunteering their time have received verbal abuse from members of the public.
“Wally is being harassed by people on various watercraft including paddleboards, kayaks, inflatables and larger boats.
“Unbelievably they [volunteers] have witnessed a RIB tipping something overboard in an attempt to attract Wally closer, people throwing things at him, various large watercraft going far too fast or too close and a number of drones being flown far too close.
“The walrus is protected under The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and it is a criminal offence to interfere with him.
“We have received a large number of messages enquiring about volunteering. We need feet on the ground to help maintain Wally’s welfare.
“If you are local to Tenby and can spare some time, please come together as a community to help Wally.”
Animal welfare groups believe the Arctic walrus came across the North Atlantic ocean from Greenland on an ice floe.
He had not been seen since vanishing from the site in Tenby over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.