Isles of Scilly walrus spotted off Republic of Ireland

image source, Lizzi Larbalestier
image captionWally was given a pontoon to create a "safe space" for him

Wally the walrus has left the Isles of Scilly and been sighted off County Waterford in the Republic of Ireland.

Wildlife experts hope he is making his way back to the Arctic, where his species is more commonly found, after arriving off Scilly in June.

Dan Jarvis from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), which has been monitoring the walrus, said a sighting was confirmed on Monday afternoon.

"We are really pleased it has worked out for the best," he said.

image source, Martyn Barlow
image captionWally's adventure has included stops in Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, France, Spain and now the Isles of Scilly

The walrus, thought to be about four years old, has travelled about 2,500 miles (4,000km) along the coast of western Europe, including Spain, Wales and Cornwall since March.

Mr Jarvis said: "The best news would be that he continues to travel north under his own steam.

"We'll just have to wait and see."

BDMLR had been discussing ways to deter Wally from a harbour on the Isles of Scilly where he had sunk a number of boats by trying to clamber aboard and rest.

A floating pontoon was made for him as a "safe space".

"He has been a very popular character while he's been here but we're all quite pleased that he's moved on now because we were starting to worry how long this might carry on for," said Mr Jarvis.

"He has certainly been a highlight and something to remember."

image source, Patricia Steven/Pete Hicks
image captionWally has damaged vessels, including sinking a fishing boat

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