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Wally the Walrus visibly injured, agitated and stressed, as boats come too close to the animal

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Wally the walrus previously photographed in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Photo: Clonakilty Distillery

Wally the walrus previously photographed in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Photo: Clonakilty Distillery

Wally the walrus previously photographed in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Photo: Clonakilty Distillery

Wally the Walrus has been spotted off the coast of Cork today with visible injuries.

The animal is said to be “agitated” and “stressed” as a result of people and boats coming too close to the animal.

Over the past few days, Seal Rescue Ireland have been trying to launch a floating ‘sea couch’ for the animal to rest before his long journey back north.

The floating ‘sea couch’ that will be used is an old rib boat that has been donated to the charity. The organisation are hoping that the old boat will provide a safe location for the animal to rest and stop the walrus climbing onto other boats in the area and causing damage.

However, the rescue centre’s plans to mobilise the ‘sea couch’ for today have been halted as the animal seems agitated and in an exposed location to people, with boats and paddle boarders circling the animal.

Melanie Croce, Executive Director of Seal Rescue Ireland said: “The location where he is now, he’s getting repeated harassed and approached by boats. There are a lot of people who are not respecting the distance, coming up and sticking cameras in his face.

“We don’t want him to hang in this area because of the boats that are swarming him and not respecting”.

Ms Croce said volunteers have spotted visible injuries on his flipper which could be a result of him climbing on and off boats as people approach.

Ms Croce said they are hoping the walrus will move on to a different location, with less people around so the organisation can try launch their floating couch.

“Because of what’s happening now in his current location, we might hope that he moves on to a different location, where he might be safer,” she said.

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“The idea is to have it somewhere safe where he can be monitored and he won’t be approaching boats, but we don’t know if the current location is proper for that because of what is happening now,” she added.

The walrus has damaged another rib in the area today.

Seal Rescue Ireland are urging people to stay at least 100 metres away from the walrus and respect the animal from a distance. They are also urging people who spot the animal to not post the location on social media, and report the sighting to the rescue organisation.

Ms Croce said the walrus will need to make a long swim back to either Iceland or Norway, however, sea ice, which the walrus needs to rest on, has “significantly receded” during the summer months. She added that if the walrus was to travel now he would have an “extremely long swim”, and therefore needs somewhere to rest before the long journey.


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