A wayward Artic walrus called Wally has been given his own floating couch to help calm him down after he sank two boats in two days.
Wally the Walrus has caused thousands of pounds in damage after relaxing on a series of small boats off West Cork in Ireland, and has sunk at least two so far.
It led to an appeal from Seal Rescue Ireland for the donation of an unused rib or large pontoon to allow him to rest.
Locals went as near as they dared to try to coax the artic walrus from taking a rest on a speedboat in favour of a less expensive rib craft, but he seemed quite at home in the lap of luxury.
Wally was spotted relaxing on a speed boat in the latest part of his European tour which has taken him across Ireland, England, Wales, and to the coasts of France and Spain
The lonely walrus is believed to be from Svalbard, north of Norway, and has been on a 4,000km solo trip for months
The four-year-old whiskery gentleman started out on his tour in March, and when he fancied a pit-stop, he’d haul his 800kg bulk onto the nearest motorboat and take a nap. Sometimes for several days
Efforts are now being made to lure Wally onto a specially modified rib in a bid to prevent further damage to more.
SRI executive director Melanie Croce said they had received advice from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) in the UK which put in place a floating pontoon for Wally while he was in the Isles of Scilly for six weeks in July.
She revealed a sturdy pontoon, with three raised sides, had been snapped up for the animal, that looked like a floating couch.
Walruses tend to rest up on either land or floating objects to chill out and the sofa will be placed into the harbour if Wally is again spotted in the area.
Local went as near as they dared to try to coax the artic walrus from taking a rest on a speedboat in favour of a less expensive rib craft, but he seemed quite at home in the lap of luxury
Efforts are now being made to lure Wally onto a specially modified rib in a bid to prevent further damage to more boats.
The walrus is believed to be from Svalbard, north of Norway, and has been on a 4,000km solo trip for months. Pictured: Wally takes an interest in a boat off the coast of Ardmore
Seal Rescue Ireland issued a warning to locals to leave Wally alone as he’s ‘stressed and agitated.’
A statement yesterday said: ‘Observers have noted he has been quite stressed and agitated from the repeated disturbances caused by boats, kayaks and paddleboards, and has a potential injury from being forced off and on the boat repeatedly.
‘A designated rib has been set out since which will hopefully lure him away from other boats to reduce property damage, and we are working with the local community to monitor him there until he has rested enough to continue on his long journey.
‘We want to thank the many stakeholders who have collaborated on this effort!
‘If you spot the walrus, we ask you to:
Alaskan walrus expert Lori Quakenbush said Wally will only be able to move on if the has the energy to make the 3,200km journey home
Wally resting on the Slipway to the Lifeboat house on May 17, 2021 in Tenby, Wales. The Walrus stayed at Tenby in March making the slipway of the RNLI lifeboat house his regular resting place
The moment Wally the Walrus greeted holidaymakers in a surprise visit to the Isles of Scilly
‘Please avoid approaching him within 100m (this includes boats, kayaks, swimming or on foot). This is a sensitive species that is easily disturbed and he must be able to rest for his long journey back to Arctic waters.
‘Please resist the urge to share his exact location publicly until there is a system in place for him to be monitored throughout the day, with a safe, designated haul-out site for him to rest on undisturbed.
‘Report sightings to SRI’s 24/7 Hotline at: 087 195 5393 so we can track his whereabouts and assist him by keeping him safe while he visits Irish waters.’
The lonely walrus has been on a 4,000km solo trip for months and spent more than six weeks off Cornwall.
The walrus is believed to be from Svalbard, north of Norway, and to have travelled by himself between Wales, Cornwall and France.