After 22 days with no confirmed sightings, we were starting to lose hope of ever seeing the young, wandering walrus who has been visiting Europe over the last few months again. However, we just received notice that a similar-looking walrus was sighted yesterday in ICELAND.. over 900 km away from Wally’s last known location in West Cork.
After conferring and comparing photos with our friends at Seal Rescue Ireland it has been confirmed that this is him! Notice the similar scars on the front of both front flippers in the second image. We are absolutely over the moon that he’s not only still alive and well, but he is well on his way home to the Arctic. He was seen swimming back out to sea last night, and even managed to avoid sinking any boats while he was there!
We are so grateful to the many members of the public and other organisations who have shown support and love for this walrus by giving him a safe place to rest and gather his strength while visiting our shores ahead of this magnificent journey. Thanks to his ability to feed and rest, he has successfully made the long stretch and will hopefully reunite with his own kind again soon. Please always remember to give wildlife space, and put their safety and welfare first!
This success is a great opportunity to highlight the immense pressures that our marine mammals face on a daily basis from human disturbance. Please remember to apply this love and respect to our own Common Seals and Grey Seals, who are extremely vulnerable at this time of year due to giving birth to and caring for their pups along our shores. As climate change impacts wildlife habitat, many species are under an ever-increasing threat and the least we can do is avoid intentionally making their lives even more difficult.
We are currently supporting a petition started by the Seal Alliance to improve the law protecting seals from disturbance and would be grateful for your support in signing and sharing this: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/584224
Pictures: Hafrún Eiríks / Höfn (via instagram @motamyndir)