By Tim Binnall
An arctic walrus that made headlines last week after being spotted on a beach in Ireland is apparently not quite ready for its fifteen minutes of fame to end as the creature shockingly reappeared hundreds of miles away off the coast of Wales. The story of the out-of-place animal initially captured the imagination of the public when it was first noticed by a five-year-old girl walking along a beach in Ireland with her father earlier this month. Dubbed 'Wally,' it is believed that the walrus found its way to the Emerald Isle by way of an iceberg that had carried the creature there from its native habitat in the Arctic Circle. Although it was presumed that the animal would eventually journey back home, it would appear that the sizeable beast had other plans.
Much to the astonishment of wildlife experts as well as people living in the area, the walrus reportedly turned up on a beach in the Welsh coastal community of Pembrokeshire this past weekend. Based on the markings on its flippers as well as the length of its tusks, the creature is undoubtedly the same animal that was seen in Ireland approximately six days earlier, meaning that it traveled a staggering 280 miles during that time span. An official with the RSPCA marveled that while "we've been rescuing animals and responding to welfare calls for almost 200 years, I believe this is our first ever walrus call."
Tasked with observing the creature, animal rescue officer Ellie West described the experience as "very, very, very surreal and very unusual." That said, she also expressed sadness that "this poor guy has turned up over here" so far from home and with an "unknown future." As was the case with Wally's appearance in Ireland, wildlife officials are asking the public to keep their distance from the animal, despite how fantastic a sight it might be, and, hopefully, it will find its way back to its native habitat rather than continue onward on its impromptu European tour.