Give Wally a spacious berth! Tourists are told to avoid the famous walruses off the Isles of Scilly as the heat wave makes him jittery
- Wally the walrus has caused thousands of pounds of damage aboard boats
- He arrived in the Isles of Scily last month and temperatures have been rising since then
- The Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust says the walrus needs rest and space
- Charity has warned heatwave temperatures ‘challenge’ him
According to a conservation charity, a famous walrus that likes to board harbor boats is struggling to cope with the heat wave.
Locals in the Isles of Scilly have been warned to stay away from Wally the walrus as the high temperatures ‘challenge’ him.
The Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust warned: ‘This heat isn’t something it’s adapted to, so it’s now more important than ever to give it some rest and space’.
Locals in the Isles of Scilly have been warned to stay away from Wally the walrus as the high temperatures ‘challenge’ him
The walrus has been in the Isles of Scilly since June 17 and has proven to be a popular hit with tourists and locals alike.
It is believed to have originated from Svalbard, north of Norway, and has only traveled some 4,000 km between Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, France and now the Isles of Scilly.
A custom pontoon with his own scent has been built for him so he has a safe place to rest before he can travel again. It is illegal to disturb the protected species.
Organizations and individuals including British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust and the St Mary’s Harbor Team are currently monitoring Wally’s behavior and implementing strategies to ensure his safety and prevent damage to property to limit.
The Seal Trust warns that if he is constantly distracted he will not gain the weight and energy for a long journey home and will likely stay longer in Scilly
The seal trust spokesperson added: ‘We are pleased to see him using the custom pontoon that Lizzi Larbalestier from BDMLR has made. We like to emphasize the core message that Wally needs peace and space.
‘All boat owners and water users have been asked to give the walrus space and not actively move towards it, but for many the temptation has proved too great. The walrus is a highly protected species and disturbance of this nature is a criminal offence.
Even a lifting of the head means that his rest has been interrupted. PLEASE STAY WITH HIM.’
Alaskan walrus expert Lori Quakenbush expects him to move on soon, but he will only be able to do so if he has the energy to make the 3,200 km journey home.
This means that he must feed (on invertebrates – mussels are his favorite food) and rest calmly and without interruption.
The Seal Trust warns that if he is constantly distracted, he will not gain the weight and energy for a long journey home and will likely stay longer in Scilly. He eats well, but his rest is not consistently good.
His seemingly sociable disposition means he is most likely looking for companionship and activity. His initial preference for warm, spongy ribs and the way he curls up in small, enclosed spaces suggests these replicate his missing walrus companions,” the trust added.
“Evidence of him biting into parts of boats may indicate he is calming himself.”