Wally’s ‘amber list’ getaway: Walrus is seen in Spain nine days after he was spotted off French coast – while 2,000 miles from his home in Greenland
- The arctic mammal has been spotted soaking up the rays off the coast of Spain
- He has dodged tugboats while travelling 230 miles through the Bay of Biscay
- Wally has previously been seen in Ireland, Wales, England and France
- Experts believe he dozed off on a block of ice and drifted across the ocean
- Wally was first spotted in British waters in County Kerry, Ireland, earlier this year
Wally the walrus has been spotted soaking up the rays off the coast of Spain, as he continues swimming hundreds of miles across Europe.
The Artic walrus has been dodging tugboats while travelling 230 miles through the Bay of Biscay to the River Nervión.
The Arctic mammal has brought delight to communities in Ireland, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and France over the past few months in his 2,000 mile adventure from his home in Greenland.
Pictures show Wally the Walrus sunbathing on the rocks in Les Sables d’Olonne, France
Wally spotters in France, where he was last seen nine days ago, said: ‘The walrus that appeared in La Rochelle last week is already in the Basque Country.
‘The Bilbao superport tugboats located him swimming in the mouth of the Nervion in apparent good health.’
Wally is believed to have drifted on ice from Greenland to County Kerry, Ireland before making his way to Tenby in Wales, then to Cornwall, the western coast of France and finally Spain
Wally became a local celebrity when he rocked up on the south Wales coast in Tenby earlier this year.
He was first spotted in County Kerry, Ireland in March, before heading over to the UK after he was believed to have fallen asleep on a drifting iceberg in his Arctic homeland.
Six days after first appearing in Ireland in March, the RSPCA were called out to check on the creature – which was ‘underweight’ – at the bottom of a cliff near Broad Haven South beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Wally was last spotted earlier this month near Padstow, 390 miles away from France
Wally cause quite a scene in Wales when he lounged on the RNLI’s slipway
Wally posed a weighty problem for worried lifeboat chiefs in Tenby when their emergency crews were blocked by the giant on their slipway.
But after becoming a known figure in the area, animal welfare groups believe he left after becoming ‘obviously disturbed’ by day-trippers getting too close.
Irresponsible tourists tried to approach him using jet-skis, paddleboards and drones as he rested on a RNLI slipway in the town’s harbour.
It became a concern for RNLI volunteers, who had to resort to shooing Wally off the slipway, using brooms and airhorns to try to move the animal.
Wally the Walrus travelled from Wales to Cornwall, and has now migrated further south
The RSPCA Cymru and Dyfed-Powys Police had to issue a plea to tourists to keep their distance from Wally, who is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Having spent months basking in the Welsh sunshine, he then travelled further south, popping up in Cornwall for a few days.
Then he migrated further south to Les Sables d’Olonne in western France, making it the town’s first sighting of a Walrus in 50 years.
Photographs show Wally basking in the French sun on the rocks on May 27.
People in Tenby are hopeful that Wally will return to Wales after his time in France, because he has become a local celebrity, with many shops selling Wally the Walrus merchandise.
Experts believe that Wally may have initially dozed off on a block of ice and drifted across the ocean.
RSPCA animal rescue officer Ellie West described Wally’s plight as ‘sad’ during Radio 4’s Today programme back in March.
She said at the time: ‘Whilst it is a very unusual sight […] it is quite a sad occurrence because we have to remember that this walrus is a very, very long way from where he should be.
‘We’re talking about a wild animal that’s still very mobile. He’s very big, we’re talking about much bigger than our normal seals. This one, although he’s of a large size he is a bit underweight.’
Wally became an icon in Tenby, Wales, where shops are selling walrus merchandise
It is hoped that the mammal will return to Tenby after his visit to the French and Spanish coast