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Wyn the walrus resurfaces in Pembrokeshire amid concern that he is ‘underweight’

27 Mar 2021 2 minute read
‘I am the walrus’

Wales’ ‘stay local’ rules were relaxed today, but a walrus named ‘Wyn’ may have taken things to extremes – spotted almost 2,000 miles from its usual habitat in the Arctic sea.

The was the second sighting of the walrus in Pembrokeshire, having been earlier seen in Ireland. It is also believed to be the same walrus spotted in Denmark in mid-February.

The RSPCA were first alerted to the presence of the walrus in Wales on 20 March but it was believed to have returned to the sea.

The walrus was however spotted on the slipway of the RNLI boathouse in Tenby this morning. The RSPCA said it was “underweight” and believed to be a young adult.

Welsh Marine Life Rescue’s Cleopatra Browne christened the animal ‘Wyn’ as it had turned up in Wales.

It was earlier seen on the coast of County Kerry in west Ireland on March 15.

RSPCA animal rescue officer Ellie West told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Whilst it is a very unusual sight […] it is quite a sad occurrence because we have to remember that this walrus is a very, very long way from where he should be.

“We’re talking about a wild animal that’s still very mobile. He’s very big, we’re talking about much bigger than our normal seals. This one, although he’s of a large size he is a bit underweight.

“At the moment we don’t know where he is, he swam away.”

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, posting on social media after pictures of the walrus in Pembrokeshire were shared, said: “The white blotch on the left fore-flipper on both images, and similar tusk length confirm the walrus in both images are the same individual.

“This is an impressive distance of circa 250-plus miles travelled over a six-day period, which is well within the capabilities of such a large marine mammal who can maintain average swim speeds of four mph.

“Walruses, despite their bulky frame and clumsy appearance on land, are surprisingly strong and agile swimmers capable of long ocean swims.”

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