Scuba Diver Magazines

Wally the walrus causing chaos on the Isles of Scilly

Advertisement

Related stories

Diving instructor sentenced after student dies on training dive

Technical diving instructor Lance Palmer has been sentenced after...

Leafy Seadragon Photos Win Top Awards

Nicolas Remy Wins Top Awards With His Leafy Seadragon...

Seagrass restoration trials begin in Cornwall

A pioneering project attempting to restore climate change-fighting seagrass...

North East set to become ‘climate leader’

A South Tyneside Council-led project aims to strengthen North...

UK shark fin ban moves closer to becoming law

Bite-Back Shark and Marine Conservation’s relentless campaigns to make...

Wally the wandering walrus, who has covered thousands of miles since first showing up on the west coast of Ireland, is rapidly outstaying his welcome on the Isles of Scilly, where he has currently set up home.

As previously reported by Scuba Diver, Wally has been on his travels, going from an extended period in Wales to Cornwall, and then down to France and even the coast of Spain, before turning up last month in the Isles of Scilly.

However, while he has caused a bit of a nuisance on some of his previous stopovers – notably lounging on the RNLI slipway in Tenby, which made launching interesting – he has mostly been a welcome spectacle very rarely seen this far from their native Arctic waters.

That has all changed in the Isles of Scilly, though, where it is estimated he has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to boats that he has tried to board, sinking several in the process. Efforts are now underway to entice the animal, thought to be around four years old, away from the harbour on St Mary's.

BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) is working with a number of groups, including conservation organisations, Devon and Cornwall Police and the RNLI, to work on ways to dissuade Wally from his boat-boarding antics.

Dan Jarvis, from BDMLR, said: “It is causing a lot of angst in the community, especially for those whose boats have been damaged. It is becoming a really big issue in that harbour and we need to do something to discourage him from being in it.”

The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration in Alaska has been consulted, and measures being looked at include barriers to stop him boarding the vessels, and acoustic deterrents above and below the waterline.

Dan continued: “No-one has ever been in this situation in this country before, we don't have animals that are this big. It is extremely unique. However, the health and welfare of the animal and safety of people are paramount.

“It is hoped that by discouraging him from being around the inhabited island, he will choose a more-secluded wild site, and then he will soon be rested enough to continue back north to his native Arctic.”

Photo credit: @barefootislanders

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
1 COMMENT
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carole Ballard
Carole Ballard
1 year ago

If you love Wally, join his page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/552880075680272

Listen to our Podcast

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Scuba Diver news and articles

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest stories
1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x