The RSPCA was called out to check on the welfare of an Arctic walrus who turned up off the coast of Pembrokeshire yesterday, March 20, in a ‘rare’ case.

RSPCA animal rescue officer Ellie West was called out to Pembrokeshire by Welsh Marine Life Rescue on Saturday morning, March 20, to check its welfare.

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

Ellie 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 appears to be a little underweight and had 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!”

Ellie 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 on 0300 1234 999.

“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.”

Speaking ahead of yesterday’s Six Nations rugby match, Ellie said:

“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 today; it’s been absolutely amazing! As a keen rugby fan, it’s possibly the only reason I would miss today’s game!”

It is not known if the walrus is male or female.

For a video of the walrus snoozing a taking a dip in the sea click here