Thor the walrus ‘taking a break’ in Scarborough for New Year’s Eve


A wandering Walrus, which has popped up in several North Sea and Atlantic coastal harbours in recent months, has appeared in Scarborough just in time for 2023.

Thor, as the mammal has become known, surfaced in the Yorkshire seaside town on Friday night and has drawn huge crowds to the area.

The Arctic walrus was last spotted on the Hampshire coastline earlier this month.

Thor has a rest on the pebbles of the Hampshire after weeks of travelling across Europe
Thor has a rest on the pebbles of the Hampshire coast earlier this month after weeks of travelling across Europe

It was first sighted in the Netherlands on 6 November and had been travelling along the coast of France, as far as Brittany, in recent weeks.

Experts have been unable, so far, to determine whether Thor is male or female.

The walrus pictured at Dieppe port on Friday Pic: Twitter/ Prefecture of Normandy and Seine-Maritime
The walrus pictured in France in November. Pic: Twitter/ Prefecture of Normandy and Seine-Maritime

Local wildlife experts have asked people not to disturb the creature, saying he appears to be “taking a break” in Scarborough and will move on in a few days once he is rested enough to continue his journey north.

Cordons have been put in place.

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Scarborough resident Richard Coulson said: “I live just round the corner from where it actually is and the traffic up and down our road – it’s just like a summer’s day, it really is absolutely teeming with cars and people.

“It’s amazing how much attention it’s brought.”

He added: “We see seals quite regularly round Scarborough coastline but something of that size, it’s enormous.

“You respect nature when you see something of that size. Its tusks are bigger than my arms.”

The Sea Life Scarborough aquarium said its animal care team was monitoring the walrus’s situation, along with the RSPCA and British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

They wrote on social media: “Please do not worry – he appears well and is just taking a well deserved rest after his long adventure!

“Please be respectful of his rest and try not to disturb him. While it is a very exciting opportunity for us, naturally they do not like lots of noise and are not familiar with domestic animals so please keep pets on leads and remain a safe distance for your own welfare and his.

“Hopefully within a few days he will have got enough rest to move on and continue his adventures north!”

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