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31st Aug 2021

Update: Wally the Walrus is still enjoying his West Cork holiday

Fiona Frawley

Sure when the sun’s shining, where else would you be?

Wally the Walrus has been enjoying an extended stay in the waters around West Cork despite his Arctic origin, according to Seal Rescue Ireland.

Over the weekend, Ireland’s newly assigned national treasure was spotted taking some long naps and rolling around on his favourite pontoon. This resting spot for Wally was located near a viewing platform where a small number of observers were able to watch him from a safe distance.

However, SRI also renewed their request for people not to get too close to Wally, as he was interrupted by some who walked onto the pontoon, getting dangerously close to the walrus in an attempt to take selfies. SRI reminded Wally fans that wildlife disturbance has serious consequences – if he becomes startled by people coming too close he could retreat off the pontoon and into the water (which happened a couple of times over the weekend). He then has to haul himself back up – a huge waste of energy which should be reserved for looking for his next meal or watching out for danger, both of which are crucial for his survival. Also, getting that close to an 800kg walrus who might be startled by your presence is a risk to your own safety – not really worth it for the gram!

The rule of thumb from SRI is that if you’re close enough for any wild animal to stop what they’re doing and look at you, you’re too close.

Orca Ireland have also been keeping a watchful eye over our arctic visitor, and urged people to observe not disturb as he enjoys his time in Irish waters.

Header image via Instagram/Seal Rescue Ireland 

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