People have been urged not to disturb Wally the Walrus 3 months ago

People have been urged not to disturb Wally the Walrus

"Don't mill around it on boats because it has the potential to disturb this animal."

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has urged people not to disturb Wally the Walrus as he continues his tour of Ireland.

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The 800kg walrus has most recently been spotted off the coast of Cork, after turning up along the Waterford coast two weeks ago.

While there had been concern as to whether the Arctic walrus was injured because of his "extremely unusual" journey, IWDG Sightings Officer Padraig Whooley says that the animal "seems to be doing just fine".

He told Morning Ireland: "It is moving. It's doing all the right things. It's taking 30-40km chunks of coastline and moving along and of course, everywhere that it turns up, it is, unfortunately, creating a bit of a circus.

"Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and all the other organisations are at pains to ask people if you are going to go and watch it, watch it from the safety of the shore.

"Don't mill around it on boats because it has the potential to disturb this animal.

"It is doing fine. It looks hale and hearty... We're not seeing any evidence that it is injured.

"The less interference from both members of the public and indeed from organisations that feel compelled to somehow get in there and to help it along, it's doing absolutely fine on its own.

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"There's no evidence that it'll benefit from human protection. We don't want it to become too comfortable so we want to urge it to move on so that it can finally start that track north."

Whooley also stated that Wally seems to be sinking one or two boats in every harbour it enters.

Asked about how this could be prevented, he said: "I'm not being glib about it but boats have marine insurance and they will be covered if boats are sunk.

"But we need him to move on and to move on fast.

"Building pontoons or a sofa as people are saying to keep him in the area is just prolonging the difficulty that boat owners are having.

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"People need to cover their boats, need to protect them. If they've got expensive engines on them, probably a good idea to remove your engine."