A GIANT arctic walrus that appeared in Irish waters last week has been spotted clambering onto boats around the country for a little snooze.
Wally the walrus, as locals have dubbed him, has been making a name for himself ever since he arrived on Ireland's western and southern coasts.
He was first spotted sunning himself on the rocks of Cork's Valentia Island, and later caused a bit of disruption in Waterford after he climbed onto a boat on the coast of Ardmore.
Now, Wally's back in Cork, and has been on the look-out for more comfy boats to bask on.
Adam Collins from Clonakilty Distillery snapped him on Monday evening "having a snooze" on one of the company's boats.
"It was definitely a surprise to see the walrus in the boat, let alone off the coast of Clonakilty," he told Independent.ie
"We're well used to seeing minke and humpback whales around here, but never a walrus. Thankfully there was no damage caused. We reckon he travelled all this way just to try a minke gin and tonic!"
One of our team had an unexpected Artic visitor on their boat this evening. #Wallythewalrus spotted in Clonakilty today.... we reckon he must have stopped by on his travels for a refreshing Minke G&T. 😅🍸#clonakilty #wildatlanticway #purecork pic.twitter.com/zGH8vGqotB
— ClonakiltyDistillery (@clondistillery) August 9, 2021
Walruses typically weigh up to 2,000kg, and given the rather ungraceful (sorry Wally) manner in which he heaves himself out of the water, there are concerns small boats could be damaged or even sunk by the huge mammal.
LOOK: Wally the walrus climbed onto a boat off the coast of Southern Ireland. Wally is a local celebrity. He was first spotted in March and has spent months wandering the coasts of Ireland, Britain, France, and Spain. https://t.co/mvRdOKhdQU pic.twitter.com/6qQBjqZVp3
— CBS 21 News (@CBS21NEWS) August 8, 2021
"If you do encounter the Walrus, please remember: 1) Do not approach him as he is a protected species. Observe quietly from a minimum of 300 m and encourage others to do the same
"2) Please resist the urge to share the location publicly until a safe haul-out site and monitoring system can be established to ensure his safety.
"3) Report sightings to SRI's 24/7 Rescue Hotline on 0871955393, so we can continue monitoring and maintaining a safe space for him to recover."