walruses seen
   in UK & Ireland



walruses seen in UK and Ireland


Walrus are not common visitors to UK and Irish waters. They prefer the cold waters of northern seas, particularly the Arctic.


However, recent years have brough three very significant walrus visitors - Wally, Freya and Thor.


But have there been others? The answer is very much yes! There has even been another Wally. The following page lists just some of the walrus visits we have had on British and Irish coasts.

I am still working on the page so pop back and have a look as I add more walrus visits.


Wally the Walrus (the first!) in Scotland in 2018






On 27th February a 'massive' walrus was seen hauled out on rocks at the Treshnish Isles, Inner Hebrides.







Thor, having previously been sighted in the Netherlands and France, was seen near Southampton on 11th December 2022. Later that month he was spotted in Scarborough. He was last seen in UK waters on January 2nd on the coast of Northumberland. Late February 2023, he was seen alive and well in Iceland.


Full details about Thor can be found on this page






When Freya was first spotted, there was some confusion as her sightings were in the same time period as, Wally. Experts were able to spot the difference however as she had a distinctive pink mark on her nose, and we were soon able to distinguish the journeys of the two walruses.


It has been suggested that she was sighted in Europe as early as 17th February 2021 in Vorupor, Denmark.


Frerya was first sighted in the Netherlands in October 2021. She was then spotted in Northumberland in November.


She was seen in Seahouses on November 14th, and then in the Shetlands off the coast of West Mainland - Aithsness.


She was seen again on Vementry on December 10th.


Her last recorded visit was to Oslo Fjord in Norway in July 2022. She was euthanised there the following month.




If you do see a walrus, please please stay well back.



Call the BDMLR Rescue hotline
01825 765546







Wally was first sighted in Co. Kerry in March 2021. He then spent three months in South Wales before being spotted briefly in Cornwall before heading to France. He was again seen in the Scillies in June 2021 where his boat-sinking abilities brought him great notoriety. He topped off on the coast of southern Eire in August before heading to Iceland presumably on his way home.


Details of him and his journey can be be found on this page

Wally sleeping on the slipway in Tenby

Photographer: Factfinder404. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.






The Wally the Walrus of 2021 was not our first 'Wally'. In 2018, a young male walrus became a visitor to Scotland and he too was given the name Wally.


He was reported as being spotted on shore at North Ronaldsay on Orkney in March and on Sanday the following day.


Later that month, he was seen at Dunnet Head, Caithness and a few days later off Armadale.

The first Wally, photographed in 2018 in Wick Harbour. Thanks to www.caithnessandsutherland.com/walrus/ for the photo.

After sightings off Skye, he was reported on the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles early in May 2018. A few days later, he was seen in Kinlochbervie in Sutherland He arrived at Wick Harbour late in May.





A walrus, thought to be a young male, was sighted resting onshore off Ronaldsay in Orkney on 3rd March 2013. 


BBC coverage: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-21647421





A male walrus was spotted off Shetland.





In April a walrus was seen hauled out on rocks in Old Head in Clew Bay, County Mayo, Ireland for a few hours hours. 







A deceased walrus was found washed up on the coast of Co. Kerry.






A confirmed sighting at Eynhallow in Orkney.






A young bull calf, arguably our first walrus celebrity, spent three days on the east coast of England attracting a lot of media coverage.


He was first reported during the morning of the 13th September on the Lincs coast. The following day, he followed a fishing boat in from the Wash in north Norfolk and into the River Ouse at Kings Lynn. Remarkably, it swam up river for some fifteen miles, ending up in a garden at Salter's Lode near Downham Market.


On the 15th, after a campaign in a national newspaper calling for his rescue, volunteers, accompanied by a Sea King helicopter, attempted to get a net around the young walrus. Failing, the walrus took to the water and made its own way to the sea. 


He was next spotted at Skegness where rescuers were more successful and he was taken to a local zoo. From there, he was flown to Greenland.






A walrus was spotted in February on a rocky beach in mainland Scotland in Collieston, Aberdeenshire. It was not until 2018 that there was another reported visit to the mainland.