RSPCA Cymru and Dyfed-Powys Police have issued a joint plea to members of the public to continue to be respectful and give sufficient space to a walrus who has made his home in Pembrokeshire.
The walrus, nicknamed Wally, was first spotted in Pembrokeshire in mid-March; with his unlikely arrival in West Wales sparking global interest.
RSPCA Cymru, Tenby’s Harbour Master, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby Lifeboat Service, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales, and CSIP Marine Environmental Monitoring previously issued a joint appeal urging people to enjoy watching Wally from a distance, rather than approaching him.
Sightings of the walrus have since continued on Tenby’s coastline in Pembrokeshire – with the animal’s condition continuing to be closely monitored by multiple agencies on a regular basis.
As Wally continues his holiday in Tenby, RSPCA and Dyfed-Powys Police have now issued a further reminder to tourists and local residents in the Pembrokeshire area asking members of the public not to approach the walrus or disturb him.
The walrus is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – meaning anyone disturbing the wild animal could be guilty of a criminal offence.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “It’s remarkable that this Arctic walrus has swum over to Wales and is spending so much time in beautiful Pembrokeshire – as he continues to be spotted regularly on the Tenby coastline.
“But we are pleading with tourists and the local community to please keep their distance as we continue to monitor this beautiful animal.
“People need to enjoy him from afar, avoid potentially spooking the animal and allow him to rest and conserve his energy. We’ve all got used to social distance over the last year – and that’s something we now need to practice with this walrus! He is also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, so disturbing him could constitute an offence.”
PC 1120 Kate Allen, from the Dyfed-Powys Police Rural Crime Team, added: “Our Rural Crime Team are working with the RSPCA and other agencies in relation to Wally the Walrus and work will continue to monitor him and keep him safe.
“Recent posts have been seen on social media regarding members of the public approaching Wally from the water and disturbing him, however we have had no reports directly to us. We ask that in the event that this occurs, these matters are reported to the Rural Crime Team and/or the RSPCA rather than posted on social media.
“We don’t know if Wally will settle here or decide to move on from the area, but we ask while he is here that he is enjoyed from a distance.”
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