'Wally' the Arctic walrus returns to Tenby after vanishing over Easter

wally the walrus tenby credit @exposurebusiness
The walrus was first spotted in Ireland before making its way to Pembrokeshire last month. Credit: @exposurebusiness

'Wally' the Arctic walrus has returned to Tenby harbour after it was claimed he vanished after being disturbed by tourists over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

The walrus was first spotted in Ireland before making its way to Pembrokeshire last month.

Animal welfare groups monitoring the animal believe it came across the North Atlantic Ocean from Greenland on an ice floe.

Since appearing in Wales, the animal has become a local celebrity with claims that some had driven as far as Essex to see the mammal over the Easter weekend.

He disappeared on the Easter Monday but reappeared the following Friday on the slipway of Tenby Lifeboat station, Terry Leadbetter from Welsh Marine Life Rescue told ITV News.

He said, "We didn’t have any idea where he had gone and were becoming extremely worried as to his welfare.

"However, we have since been given information that he had been seen at the rear of St Margarets Island, next to Caldy."

'Wally' has returned to Tenby harbour Credit: Amy Compton

Since reappearing on 9 April, he has remained close to the lifeboat station and North Beach area of Tenby.

Terry, who has been keeping a close eye on the walrus said that he "has gained weight and appears to be in very good health."

"His life, at the moment, consists of eating and sleeping", he added.

'Wally' is being monitored on a daily basis by volunteers from Welsh Marine Life Rescue.

Their primary role is to attempt to keep the walrus safe by advising members of the public to keep a safe distance and not make unnecessary approaches or noises that are likely to cause him stress.

He has gained weight and is said to be in 'good health' Credit: Amy Compton

Mr Leadbetter added, "Whilst the majority of people are very understanding and ask many questions, there are a few that  feel they have a right to do whatever they want and have become very abusive to my volunteers.

"Water traffic, jet skies ,paddle boards, canoes and dinghies is something we have little control over. They are aware of the animals presence and purposely getting too close."

The mammal has appeared to chose Tenby as his home Credit: Wales News Service

Terry added, "This magnificent animal appears to have chosen Tenby as his home and I feel that efforts should be made to ensure that no harm comes to him in order that we may study his progress for as long as he chooses to stay with us."

Walruses can live to around 40 years old and can weigh up to a tonne in weight.

Climate change is believed to be the greatest threat to walruses, according to the WWF. The conservation organisation says melting sea ice means more Pacific walruses are resting on land, further from their feeding grounds.