Wally the wandering walrus capsizes dinghy and tries to board fishing boat as it delights onlookers in Tenby after straying thousands of miles from Arctic home
- Wally the Walrus has been spotted swimming in the harbour in Tenby, Wales
- He capsized a dingy after failing to board a fishing boat in the harbour
- Wally has become a minor celebrity following his marathon Arctic journey
A wandering walrus sunk a dinghy as it tried to hitch a ride in a Welsh seaside town – in its latest adventure after straying thousands of miles from its Arctic home.
The walrus, nicknamed Wally, capsized the dinghy in front of onlookers as it tried to flop aboard.
It was then spotted attempting to climb onto the fishing boat moored in the harbour of Tenby, Pembrokeshire, where the walrus has been spending the last few days.
Animal welfare groups are monitoring the giant mammal believed to have previously visited Ireland after travelling from the Arctic on an ice floe.
Beachgoer Martyn Thomas, 36, said he was walking along the harbour when he noticed other people looking out to sea.
Wally the Walrus, pictured, was been spotted swimming in Tenby, Pembrokeshire
The juvenile Arctic walrus, pictured, was first spotted off the Irish west coast before continuing on to Wales
The giant mammal sank this dinghy after trying to clamber aboard – possibly in the search for food
He said: ‘I wondered what was going on and you could see the walrus by an overturned dinghy. Someone said that it flipped it over as it tried to get on.
‘The next thing it was trying to get up to a fishing boat and had its flippers right up to the deck. It was like it wanted to get aboard.’
Mr Thomas, who is a father of one, said it was an impressive sight during the morning’s high tide.
He said: ‘It’s a huge creature. It was just swimming around lazily and looked happy enough.’
Wally the Walrus was first spotted in County Kerry in the Irish Republic before travelling to Pembrokeshire. He has been seen in the Tenby area over the course of several days
Wally the Walrus is believed to have travelled across the Atlantic from Greenland on a sheet of ice before arriving in Co Kerry in the Irish Republic. He later swam into the Irish Sea, arriving in Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Plumber Sean Roche, of Pembrokeshire-based SR Plumbing, spent more than 20 minutes watching it as it played with the boats.
He said: ‘I was slightly late for work this morning. This is the best excuse.’
The walrus is believed to have crossed the Irish Sea after being spotted in County Kerry earlier this month.
It was first seen in Wales on rocks near Broad Haven South beach before swimming further south to Tenby days later.
In the past few days it has taken refuge on the RNLI slipway where lifeboat chiefs are keeping the crowds away from it.
Cleopatra Browne, of Welsh Marine Life Rescue, visited the walrus when it first arrived in Wales, saying: ‘It was about the size of a cow.
‘It was a whopper. I’ve seen them on telly and the news but it was huge.’
Walruses are more often seen in the Arctic, and are not usually seen this far south.
Ms Browne watched the walrus from about 40m away and believed it was a young animal as its tusks were ‘about 3in long’.
‘There is a tale going around that it fell asleep on an iceberg and ended up drifting across and woke up in Ireland,’ said Ms Browne.
‘And then ended up in Wales on the way home.’
It was first seen on the coast of County Kerry in west Ireland on March 15 before making the 450km journey to Pembrokeshire in Wales on March 21.
The RSPCA were called out to check on the creature — which is ‘underweight’ — at the bottom of a cliff near Broad Haven South beach last week.
Experts believe the walrus is a young adult, but it is not possible to determine the gender, as both males and females have tusks.
They said the animal may have dozed off on a block of ice and drifted across the ocean in its trip to Ireland.