RSPCA checks on Arctic walrus spotted off south Wales coast

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An Arctic walrus has been spotted off the Pembrokeshire coast, prompting a callout to the RSPCA to check on the animal’s welfare.

The walrus was first spotted a week earlier on rocks in County Kerry, Ireland, before seemingly making its way over to south Wales.

Ellie West, and RSPCA animal rescue officer, said: “It seems this Arctic walrus has swum over to Wales and was resting on rocks when I went to check on him. He was resting and, although appearing slightly underweight, thankfully he wasn’t displaying any signs of sickness or injury.

“This is an incredibly rare sighting and these big, beautiful animals never usually venture so far south. The juvenile walrus has likely travelled down this way in search of food.”

The walrus appeared to have a few scrapes but seemed in generally good condition and was seen to be swimming well.

Geoff Edmond, RSPCA national wildlife coordinator, said: “This was a landmark day for the RSPCA’s wildlife team. While we’ve been rescuing animals and responding to welfare calls for almost 200 years, I believe this is our first ever walrus call.”

He added: “We’re pleased he seems well but, if anyone spots him in this area or elsewhere and has concerns about his welfare, we’d ask them to call our emergency hotline.

“We’d also ask members of the public who may spot him on the rocks to keep their distance and not to approach him or spook him as he needs to rest and conserve his energy.

“I will certainly never forget this day, in fact it’s still sinking in that I’ve been monitoring a walrus on the Pembrokeshire coast, it’s been absolutely amazing.”

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