He delighted members of the public across the country when he was spotted in Scarborough, but where is Thor the walrus now?
On New Year's Eve, a roving walrus was spotted in Scarborough. Nicknamed 'Thor', he's the first walrus to ever be recorded in Yorkshire, after travelling north from the Hampshire coast where he was observed in December. His arrival led Scarborough Council to make the decision to cancel its New Year's Eve fireworks display, in order to avoid distressing the walrus.
Since then, Thor has been spotted elsewhere in the UK as he travels north, and many are wondering if other towns and cities along the east coast will receive a visit from the celebrity walrus. So, where is Thor the walrus now?
Where is Thor the walrus now?
The exact whereabouts of Thor are not currently known, after the last sighting of him in Blyth. Thor has not been fitted with a tracker, but it appears he is heading back north towards the Arctic circle.
Therefore, it's unlikely that Thor will be travelling close to the coast of the UK for much longer, as he will probably swim across the north sea instead, towards Scandinavia.
Welcome to Scarborough ‘Thor’ the Walrus. This is incredibly rare for the UK and never seen before locally. Please respect the cordons in place & keep noise to a minimum say British Divers Marine Life Rescue… pic.twitter.com/xDjFOX6sJ0December 31, 2022
Thor had been monitored overnight on New Year's Eve by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (opens in new tab) (BDLMR), after its medics "scrambled with radios to track which direction he went," following his departure from Scarborough.
They added that their tracking was "assisted by some local youngsters who saw him swimming and we confirmed that he had swam off out of the harbour."
If Thor does make another appearance in the UK, it will likely be further north of the east coast, for example Edinburgh, Dundee, or Aberdeen. Wildlife experts have asked people not to disturb Thor, should he appear again.
The walrus is protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, so disturbing him may constitute an offence.
Is Thor the walrus still in Blythe?
Thor is no longer in Blyth. The walrus headed back into the sea the day after appearing in the coastal town.
Thor was spotted in Blyth on Monday 2 January, resting on a wooden pontoon at the yacht club. He stayed the night in the Northumberland town, before heading back into the water just before 7am on Tuesday 3 January.
Where do walruses live?
The Atlantic walrus lives in the waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia, according to the WWF (opens in new tab).
Thor is believed to have left his natural habitat in the Arctic circle earlier this winter, and may have travelled from as far as Canada before he was spotted on the in Zeeland, the Netherlands, on November 6.
He later appeared in northern France on 19 November before arriving in Hampshire in December.
Molly Gray, the rescue and community organiser of the BDMLR, told The Guardian (opens in new tab): "It’s not very normal to see walruses down here so we imagine that it is because of climate change. He is finding places to rest in between his long journeys and hopefully he’s making his way up north again now."
And as Thor is the third walrus seen in the UK in the last two years, Gray adds: "It could be a bit of a pattern … so we could definitely see more, but who knows."
How big is Thor the walrus?
Thor the walrus is thought to be around 8ft long and estimated to weigh 0.75 tonnes. He is at least three years old, according to wildlife experts.
The BDMLR have said that observations indicate Thor "seems healthy" and has "no medical issue at the moment".
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Ellie joined Goodto as a Junior Features Writer in 2022 after finishing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. Previously, she completed successful work experience placements with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue and the Nottingham Post, and freelanced as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. In 2021, Ellie graduated from Cardiff University with a first-class degree in Journalism.
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