United Kingdom

Wally wreaks havoc! Wandering walrus' upsets locals on the Isles of Scilly

Wally the famous wandering Arctic walrus has been causing havoc near the Isles of Scilly where he reappeared this weekend. 

The adventurous animal is thought to have drifted from the Arctic on an iceberg and first hit headlines when he was spotted around islands north of Scotland.

And after a trip to Ireland, Spain, France and Greenland, he showed his tusks again in the Isles of Scilly when he arrived on Thursday.

But while many tourists and locals have been delighted to spot the walrus, some boat owners have been left deflated after the large arctic mammal punctured dinghies he mistook for resting spots.

Photos show the walrus clambering on top of the rubber inflatables while forlorn owners look on helplessly.

Will Wagstaff, a freelance tour guide in the area, confirmed it had popped multiple dinghies which were attached to the back of yachts.

Wally the famous Arctic Walrus has been pictured causing havoc for boat owners of the Isles of Scilly after returning to the UK coast this weekend. Pictures show the walrus deflating rubber dinghies after trying to climb on top for a rest (pictured)

Witnesses said Wally's sharp tusks popped several dinghies that were attached to the back of yachts in the area (pictured)

Wally the walrus made a triumphant return to the UK last night, spotted in the Scilly Isles

He told the Telegraph: 'It has actually popped a couple of Zodiacs. People were leaving their dinghies out the back and of course that is ideal for it to think it can get on but it's way too heavy.

'And of course it used its big tusks to lever itself up. Soft rubber and hard old ivory or whatever it is is not a good combination really.'

Exports administrator Rachel Box, 42, was delighted to spot the creature who she said looked like he needed a rest.

She said: 'I couldn't believe it. He was actually massive.

'I remember turning my boyfriend when I saw something large in the water coming towards us and thinking 'is that a massive seal?'

'But as he was moving closer towards us I said 'oh that's Wally the Walrus!'

'He was just absolutely huge - just like an elephant! Even his skin seemed the same.

'He was really playful and not aggressive in the slightest.

The walrus travelled 518 miles north from Spain to appear in the Bay of Porthcressa, on the island of St Mary's on July 17. Residents raced down to the beach to catch a glimpse of the tugboat-dodging animal, who was seen trying to climb aboard yachts 35 miles off the Cornish coast (pictured)

'Others were a bit weary of him piercing the rubber dinghies as he was poking bit with his tusks.

'He was then trying to haul himself up on the boats, I think in order to get some rest.

'Some are saying he had probably 450 miles to get there so no wonder he was a little tired.

'He eventually perched himself on some rocks. I'm just amazed we managed to see him.'

Meanwhile, amusing footage shows the juvenile male trying to climb aboard a tourist boat near the Bay of Porthcressa.

Boatsman Rafe Ward, 33, recorded his close encounter with the friendly walrus.

The creature got up close with his yacht - called the Calypso - while excited tourists marvelled at the rare opportunity.

Scilly-born Rafe, who is the owner of Calypso Boating Scilly, said he had heard Wally was around and had diverted his normal two-island tour to try and get a glimpse.

Rafe said: 'I wasn't sure if we'd see him, but we spotted him straight away.

'I tried to keep a distance but he clearly took a liking to the boat - and it's a nice boat so I don't blame him!

'It was great seeing him in the flesh because he's been spotted all over recently.

'My main thing was keeping everyone on board safe, and we'd never have got anywhere near Wally if it was dangerous - he just wanted to say hello!

'Everyone on board loved it - one man said it was more exciting than a diving trip at the Great Barrier Reef!'

The walrus travelled 518 miles north from Spain to appear in the Bay of Porthcressa, on the island of St Mary's on July 17.

And no wonder the walrus needed to rest his flippers (pictured trying to climb on a yacht) , after the Arctic mammal brought delight to communities in Ireland, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and France over the past few months in his 2,000 mile adventure from Greenland

Residents raced down to the beach to catch a glimpse of the tugboat-dodging animal, who was seen trying to climb aboard yachts 35 miles off the Cornish coast.

And no wonder the walrus needed to rest his flippers, after the Arctic mammal brought delight to communities in Ireland, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and France over the past few months in his 2,000 mile adventure from Greenland. 

A Scilly islander said the walrus was enjoying himself around moored boats on Thursday.

Local Will Lethbridge said: 'He seems pretty happy and healthy. The beach is full of people with binoculars and telescopes and it seems Wally the walrus is around the shoreline playing with some of the yachts.' 

Wally was last spotted  soaking up the rays off the coast of Spain less than a fortnight ago - as he continued his long-distance swim across Europe.

The Artic walrus traveled 230 miles through the Bay of Biscay to the River Nervión earlier this month.  

Pictures show Wally the Walrus sunbathing on the rocks in Les Sables d'Olonne, France

Wally spotters in France, where he was seen previously, 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 became a local celebrity when he rocked up on the south Wales coast in Tenby 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.     

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. 

Wally the Walrus travelled from Wales to Cornwall, and has now migrated further south

Then he migrated further south still, 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

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