Thor the walrus flips off crowds in Blyth, Northumberland

Thor the walrus has appeared in the Northumbrian town of Blyth, just days after making a splash in Scarborough (Picture: PA)

A travelling walrus who delighted thousands by making a surprise appearance in Scarborough on New Year’s Eve has been spotted 100 miles further up the North Sea coast.

A large crowd quickly gathered in the Northumberland town of Blyth on Monday lunchtime to glimpse a sighting of the animal, who was spotted resting on a wooden pontoon at the yacht club.

The creature is believed to be Thor, a juvenile male who made waves when he became the first walrus ever spotted in Yorkshire.

He parked himself on a slipway in Scarborough harbour on the evening of December 30 and stayed there for nearly 24 hours before swimming away.

Thor is believed to have travelled over 3,000 miles via Canada, France and the Netherlands before making a stop in the Yorkshire town on his way back home to the Arctic.

Upon learning of his arrival, Scarborough Council decided to cancel its New Year’s Eve fireworks display as part of the multi-agency effort to stop the massive animal from becoming agitated and coming to harm.

People look at a walrus at the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club in Blyth. The sighting follows a similar one of the marine mammal in Scarborough which drew huge crowds to the harbour on New Year's Eve. Picture date: Monday January 2, 2023. PA Photo. The Arctic walrus is believed to be Thor - the same animal that was spotted on the Hampshire coastline earlier this month. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Thor the walrus has been travelling up the east coast on his way back home to the Arctic (Picture: PA)

The new sighting of Thor coincided with the publication of a report from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) into his visit to the Yorkshire seaside resort.

It said up to 500 people were watching his antics at any one time, with thousands visiting the scene.

The report added that most of the public were ‘taking photos and standing in disbelief – presumably floored by seeing a walrus!’

The BDMLR said it was alerted to Thor’s arrival in North Yorkshire at 11.30pm on December 30th by staff from Scarborough Sealife and their initial response was: ‘Are you joking?’.

It said that Thor moved his position as the tide level moved, with concerns at one point that he was heading towards the public road at the top of the slipway.

During his stay in the seaside town, Thor also greatly amused the watching public by engaging in some ‘stereotypically male behaviour’.


During his stay in Scarborough, Thor flipped off the crowd by engaging in some ‘juvenile’ behaviour (Picture: Twitter)

The report said: ‘By 4pm (on December 31) Thor was becoming slightly more active, and at 4.30pm he sat up, turned around, and promptly slid off into the harbour.

‘A cheer erupted from the crowd while BDMLR medics scrambled with radios to track which direction he went.

‘This was assisted by some local youngsters who saw him swimming and we confirmed that he had swam off out of the harbour.’

It said most of the visitors behaved appropriately but police had to deal with ‘a small handful of difficult members of public, and one person breaking cordon and entering private property attempting to access the walrus for photographs.’

The BDMLR said: ‘Kind public asked many questions, offered and bought hot drinks and food, and expressed their appreciation of Thor being protected, with the overwhelming majority being immeasurably respectful to our visitor.

‘At all times the crowd was at least 350 thick, at one point seemingly over 500 people were there with more bodies continually appearing from all avenues, roads, and even bus trips.

**IMAGE OUTSIDE OF SUBSCRIPTION DEAL, FEES APPLY, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ACCOUNT MANAGER** Mandatory Credit: Photo by Will Palmer/ (13689702h) An Atlantic Walrus is seen resting on a harbour slipway on New Years Eve in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. Walrus seen in Scarborough. Scarborough, UK - 31 Dec 2022

Hundreds turned up to see the wandering walrus, who was the first of his kind ever spotted in Yorkshire (Picture: Shutterstock)

‘It is estimated several thousand people were in attendance over the whole day, though likely far more.’

It praised the council for agreeing to its request to cancel the fireworks display.

It said: ‘BDMLR HQ spoke with the local council and liaison officers who explained the situation regarding fireworks to all council members who without reservation agreed the firework display would likely cause stress and alarm to the walrus, and therefore was cancelled without hesitation.

‘This was an incredible step forward for animal welfare which has been tremendously backed by the public, official parties and the media.’

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