After washing up to shore in Scarborough just two days ago, the walrus fondly known as Thor caused quite a stir in the coastal town for New Year’s Eve.
First spotted the evening of December 30th, Thor spent the weekend in Scarbados celebrating the new year and putting on quite the show for the locals, writhing around the harbour and lapping up the laughs from the crowds.
As a result of Thor’s impromptu visit, the local council was forced to make the decision to cancel their annual fireworks display – with councillors fearing they could frighten the arctic walrus if they were to go ahead. The decision came after marine experts weighed in on the predicament.
A spokesman for Scarborough Borough Council said: “We have taken the decision to cancel tonight’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display on the advice of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), because of the arrival of the walrus ‘Thor’ in the harbour.
“There are concerns that the display could cause distress to the mammal.”
Councillor Steve Siddons said: “We are really disappointed that we’ve had to cancel the fireworks but the welfare of the walrus has to take precedence. Our decision is based on expert advice from the BDMLR charity.”
Chris Cook, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area coordinator for British Divers Marine Life Rescue, added: “We welcome the decision to call off the fireworks but understand that some people will be disappointed the display isn’t going ahead.
“It is extremely rare that an Arctic walrus should come ashore on the Yorkshire coast. The creature needs time to rest and recuperate before it continues its journey.”
It’s believed that Thor could have travelled from as far as Canada, and could simply be ‘wandering’ before heading back home to colder waters.
Thor has also been spotted in Hampshire, Holland and France in recent weeks. The walrus appeared to enjoy frolicking in the harbour before leaving on January 1st.
[Featured image: James Spencer]