Scarborough walrus Thor sees fireworks display cancelled but swims off before new year

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Famous walrus Thor pays a visit to Scarborough harbour on the North Yorkshire coast after being spotted in Hampshire, France and the Netherlands

A wandering walrus named Thor took a short vacation in Scarborough this weekend putting paid to the town’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. The tusked traveller hauled himself onto the harbour to take a rest, much to the delight of bemused onlookers.

This isn’t the first time the marine mammal has been spotted this winter - there have also been sightings off the Hampshire coast as well as in France and the Netherlands. It’s believed he came ashore along the North Yorkshire coast at around 10.30pm on Friday (December 30) remaining there for most of the following day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pronounced healthy by Sea Life Centrevolunteers who checked him over yesterday (December 31), he is thought to be around eight years old and nearing adulthood - but could live as old as 40. A cordon was set up to keep onlookers at bay and people were asked to refrain from feeding the blubbery beast.

Despite that, hundreds of onlookers gathered to witness the spectacle for themselves. And, this might not be the last the UK sees of Thor as walruses are known to spend several days in the same location before heading off so there is a chance he could resurface in the area before continuing his journey north to the Arctic.

Scarborough fireworks cancelled

Following advice from wildlife charity British Divers Marine Life Association, a planned New Year’s Eve fireworks display arranged by Scarborough Council had to be cancelled due to concerns the loud noises might cause Thor distress. The council said it was ‘disappointed’ but the safety of the walrus ‘took precedence’.

Is the walrus still in Scarborough?

The precautions were, in the end, unwarranted with spectators confirming Thor swam away from the Harbour slipway before the strike of midnight.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.