Experts predict famous walrus will soon return to the Arctic
Wally’s summer holiday comes to an end: World’s most famous walrus laps up the last rays of sunshine of off Ireland as experts predict he will soon return to his Arctic homeland
- Experts tracking Wally the walrus hope he’ll return north as temperatures cool with the beginning of autumn
- He has spent weeks lounging around harbours south west of Cork following stops in Spain and France
- The 800kg walrus was photographed lazing on a floating pontoon amid balmy temperatures this weekend
- Last month, he was snapped taking a snooze in a speed boat he had clambered into in Crookhaven, Ireland
- Experts say it is important for the walrus, a social animal, to return to the Arctic to be with others
The world’s most famous walrus could be bringing its summer holiday to an end 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 southwesterly coast where temperatures reached a balmy 25 degrees centigrade (77F) at the weekend.
The wandering walrus has captured the imagination of wildlife lovers around the world with his travels, which have included stops in France, Spain and the Isles of Scilly.
However, as autumn approaches, marine experts are hoping the 800kg juvenile male will return to the chillier waters of the Arctic and reunite with other walruses.
‘Wally is a little unpredictable but we are hoping that he will head north for winter,’ Melanie Croce, executive director of Seal Rescue Ireland, which is monitoring the walrus’ movements, said.
‘This is the season that the ice pack grows and extends further south and when walruses gather in the Arctic.
‘Walruses are social creatures and Wally is no exception so we are hoping he may finally decide it is time to go home.’
Wally, the world’s most famous walrus, could be bringing its summer holiday to an end 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 southwesterly coast where temperatures reached a balmy 25 degrees centigrade at the weekend
The wandering walrus has captured the imagination of wildlife lovers around the world with his travels, which have included stops in France, Spain and the Isles of Scilly
In the last couple of weeks, Wally has been a frequent sight among the pontoons and boats in the harbours and bays along the south west coast of Cork.
He has been feeding on mussels and clams from the seabed and, according to Croce, is in good physical condition.
However, hordes of sightseers flocking to the area are causing some problems for Wally, whose home is likely to be Greenland.
‘He’s been disturbed by people in boats and kayaks coming up close to him, and while he is quite social, he could pose a serious risk to them if startled,’ Croce said.
‘He is a massive animal and all he would have to do is roll over on someone and the consequences would be quite serious.
‘Walruses have to fight polar bears in the wild so they are not to be messed with.’
Wally has been feeding on mussels and clams from the seabed and, according to an expert, is in good physical condition
Seal Rescue Ireland has installed two floating pontoons and an inflatable boat for Wally to haul himself out on, but he has not been seen since the weekend when the heatwave ended.
‘When the weather gets worse he tends to go out to sea for a few days where he will feed and he will return when it gets better.
‘We really do hope he decides to go home, although of course he will not be aware of climate change and what awaits him.
‘It is likely that over the next few years we will see more vagrant Arctic species like Wally as they are displaced by the effects of climate change.’
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