Wally the Walrus 'flipped dinghy and tried to board fishing boat'

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Walrus in TenbyImage source, Rhian Field
Image caption,
Wally the Walrus sought refuge on the RNLI slipway in Tenby

A wandering walrus "sunk a dinghy and tried to board a fishing boat" after straying thousands of miles from its Arctic home.

Witnesses said the creature, nicknamed Wally, capsized the dinghy as it tried to get on it.

Then it was seen trying to climb onto a fishing boat in Tenby harbour, Pembrokeshire.

Animal welfare groups are monitoring the mammal, believed to have arrived from the Arctic on an ice floe.

Beachgoer Martyn Thomas, 36, said he was walking along the harbour when he noticed people looking out to sea.

He said: "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."

Mr Thomas said he saw the animal during Tuesday morning's high tide.

"It's a huge creature," he said.

"It was just swimming around lazily and looked happy enough."

Plumber Sean Roche spent more than 20 minutes watching it among the boats.

"I was slightly late for work this morning," he said.

"This is the best excuse."

Media caption,

RSPCA animal rescue officer Ellie West said the "big, beautiful animals never usually venture so far south"

The walrus is believed to have crossed the Irish Sea after being spotted in County Kerry earlier this month.

It was first seen in Wales on rocks near Broad Haven South beach before heading to Tenby.

In the past few days it has sought refuge on the RNLI slipway. Lifeboat chiefs have been keeping the crowds away from it.

Cleopatra Browne, of Welsh Marine Life Rescue, previously visited the walrus when it first arrived in Wales.

She said Wally was "about the size of a cow" with tusks "about 3in long".