Is Wales’ favourite walrus Wally finally heading home?

040821 Wally Walrus

Wales' favourite wandering walrus Wally has been continuing its tour of the UK - but could he finally be heading home?The marauding mammal was first spotted in Ireland off the coast of Valentia Island in March.

Later that month, Wally arrived in Wales and became an overnight sensation.

Credit: Amy Compton

The arctic walrus spent around two months off the coast of Pembrokeshire and was frequently seen in Tenby, where he quickly became the town's top attraction.

The animal was pictured capsizing an inflatable dinghy boat and attempting to climb aboard a fishing boat, as well as balancing a starfish on its nose.

He was frequently spotted lounging on the the RNLI slipway and drawing in the crowds.

Rescue crews in Wales even had to seek advice from marine experts on how to safely move a giant walrus amid concerns Wally could prevent the lifeboat from launching in an emergency.

Wally spent many days resting on the RNLI slipway in Tenby. Credit: Gareth Davies

Wally has since travelled 4,000km along the coast of western Europe, being spotted in France, Spain and the UK.

Most recently it has been sighted in the Isles of Scilly, off Cornwall in England.

Credit: PA

Back now in Ireland, Wally was photographed climbing on to a boat owned by a local hotelier off the coast of Ardmore, Co Waterford, on Wednesday.

Patrick Shields, general manager at the five-star Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, joked that staff were surprised to see international guests arriving in the summer of a pandemic.

Credit: PA

He said: "I received a phone call at home to say we had a visitor in the bay since early morning.

"I was aware that Mike Dunne, a local fisherman, was going out to check and that there was a boat with a walrus on it in the harbour, which was surprising to me, initially. I needed to see it with my own eyes.

"When I came to the hotel around lunchtime I was surprised that Wally the Walrus had shown up.

"We haven't had a lot of international visitors this summer. So someone from Norway was exciting, and in particular a walrus, which was amazing. It's gathered a lot of attention."