Animal

Walrus spotted in Cornwall for first time thought to be Wally last seen in Wales


‘Wally’ has popped up in Padstow after disappearing from Tenby in Pembrokeshire (Picture: SWNS)

A walrus named Wally is thought to have made an unexpected public appearance in Cornwall after vanishing from Tenby in Wales.

Cornwall Wildlife trust said it was ‘absolutely a first’ after a walrus was sighted in Padstow on Wednesday.

It is believed to be the same Arctic animal spotted at the Pembrokeshire beach resort, who fled after being ‘harassed’ by tourists wanting a selfie.

Wally, who has also previously been spotted in Ireland, is said to have visited the Cornish coast for a holiday.

Photographer Nathaniel Barry told how he was ‘in shock’ to spot a walrus on a sea safari 80 miles away from Tenby on Wednesday.

He initially thought the animal was a grey seal, telling the BBC: ‘I’ve always wanted to see them but they are usually nowhere near Cornwall.

‘It popped up maybe 10m (30ft) away from us and the first thing I saw were these tusks.

‘I was just in shock. It’s the first time I believe that anyone in Cornwall has seen a walrus.

It is ‘absolutely a first’ for an Arctic walrus to be spotted in Cornwall (Picture: Nathaniel Barry / @PadstowSeaLif/ SWNS)
‘Wally’ chilling out on the slipway of Tenby Lifeboat station in March this year (Picture: Reuters)

‘The likelihood of seeing one walrus down here is remote so the likelihood of seeing two is a lot less.’

The walrus’ tusks were the same size was Wally’s, Nathaniel added.

He described the experience as ‘amazing’ and ‘like a dream’, revealing how his excitement at the wildlife sighting matched that of passengers.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust marine conservation officer, Abby Crosby, added: ‘It’s absolutely a first and I’m amazed by this sighting.

‘It’s wonderful to hear he’s on our coastline.’

Wally, pictured in Tenby, disappeared from the resort after being ‘harassed’ by tourists (Picture: Reuters)

There are thought to be around 20,000 walruses in the North Atlantic, but sightings in Britain are rare.

The mammals can live to around 40 years old and weigh up to a tonne, relying on body fat to stay alive.

The sighting comes just days after a ‘magnificent’ pair of killer whales were seen off the west coast of Cornwall near Penzance.

Conservationists say the orcas, named John Coe and Aquarius, are in a pod of eight and are the only killer whales to reside in Britain.

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