Wally’s holiday comes to an end as experts predict famous walrus will soon return to Arctic homeland


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 will return north as temperatures cool 
  • He has spent the last few weeks lounging around harbours south west of Cork
  • The 800kg walrus was photographed lazing on a floating pontoon this weekend
  • Last month, he was snapped taking a snooze in a speed boat in Crookhaven
  • Experts say it is important for the social animal to return home 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 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

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

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

Wally has been feeding on mussels and clams from the seabed and, according to an expert, is in good physical condition

Since August 18, Wally has been a frequent sight among the pontoons and boats in the harbours and bays along the south west coast of Cork, Ireland

Since August 18, Wally has been a frequent sight among the pontoons and boats in the harbours and bays along the south west coast of Cork, Ireland 

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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