Wally: The Delinquent Welsh Walrus

Breanna Reynolds, Writer and Head Political Contributor

A very lost walrus has found its way to Tenby, Wales. They were first spotted in Ireland on March 14, 2021, just two weeks later they were sighted in the West coast of Wales. Wally, named after “Where’s Wally” (the British version of “Where’s Waldo”), is an arctic walrus. No one’s exactly sure how they ended up at least 1,000 miles from where they’re meant to be. One of the leading theories is that they fell asleep on some ice in Greenland and it melted, floating them off into the sea. 

Wally’s delinquent ways started when they were caught trying to board a dinghy boat, flipping the entire thing, and then later the same day was caught trying to climb atop a fishing boat. Martyn Thomas, who happened to see Wally that same day, commented “I wondered what was going on and you could see the walrus by an overturned dinghy. Someone said that it flipped it over as it tried to get on.

“The next thing it was trying to get up to a fishing boat and had its flippers right up to the deck. It was like it wanted to get aboard.” He continued the statement by describing Wally, “It’s a huge creature, It was just swimming around lazily and looked happy enough.”

People were loving them! Unfortunately, they may have loved them a little too much. In early April, Wally disappeared over Easter weekend because of tourists jet skiing and paddle boarding up to them. People didn’t know where they had gone and were worried that they may never return. Luckily, they returned after the tourist season was over. The local authorities are now saying that disturbing Wally (such as throwing rocks, poking at, or harassing them) is now a criminal offense. 

After their return, Wally continued their delinquent ways. They seem to enjoy basking in the sun and napping on top of a lifeboat crew’s emergency slipway. When an emergency rescue call happened, crew members attempted to remove Wally by trying to shoo them with a broom. It did not work well, Wally simply continued their nap. One of the members claimed that at one point Wally looked at them as if to say “you’re having a laugh”. Wally finally left his position after the crew brought an airhorn out and they seemed to grow tired of the constant noise. This has happened more than once.

Wally has also been noted to be a fashion icon recently as they’ve been seen poking their head out of the water with things like shells and starfish on their snout. Amy Compton, a professional photographer who caught several good shots of Wally, is currently selling masks with walrus drawings on them for £5 (~$7). A small amount of each purchase is going to Welsh Marine Life Rescue. Compton is not the only one seeing a financial opportunity here, local Tenby shops have started selling Wally mugs, Wally prints, Wally pillows, and other such related Wally merchandise. 


Some fun facts:


  • Wally is suspected to be two years old.
  • Their sex is non-confirmed. Different news outlets are using different pronouns for them so I’ve opted for a more gender-neutral presentation (though it’s not as if a walrus will care much about human gender identity).
  • Walruses aren’t native to Wales so there’s no ‘common’ Welsh word for walrus, many have just been the cymricisation “walrws” but the formal literary term in Welsh is “morfarch” which translates to “sea stallion” or “sea knight”, depending on the local dialect. 
  • They are gaining weight very quickly, which is a good thing as they looked to be underweight before.
  • This is the farthest south we’ve ever seen a walrus in the wild.





Humphries, Will. “Wally the Walrus disappears from Welsh town after being 

     pestered by jet skis and paddle boarders.” The Times, 7 Apr. 2021, 





Lewis, Anna. “Wally the Tenby Walrus has returned after vanishing.” Wales 

     Online, 9 Apr. 2021, www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/ 



Spencer, Caleb. “Wally the walrus: Lifeboat crew use horn to budge animal.” 

     BBC, 30 Apr. 2021, www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-56940239. 


“Wally the Walrus ‘flipped dinghy and tried to board fishing boat.'” BBC, 30 

     Mar. 2021, www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-56582311.