One person broke cordon in Scarborough to take picture with Thor the walrus

Thor was spotted in Scarborough late on 30 December, attracting hundreds of people who wanted to catch a glimpse of the walrus. Credit: James Spencer

‘Thor’ the walrus attracted crowds of up to 350 people at a time when he made a pit stop in North Yorkshire, with a “small handful” causing problems for those trying to keep the animal safe.

The walrus, which was spotted in Scarborough and Blyth, attracted a big following during his time in the region.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) thanked those who had helped keep the animal safe, and said most people had been respectful. A "small handful" had been difficult in Scarborough, the organisation said, and one person had breached the cordon to try and take a photo.

Thor, who was seen in Hampshire before Christmas, was last spotted in Blyth, further up the coast, where he left this morning.

The volunteer rescue organisation observed the arctic mammal continuously to ensure he was not harmed during his stay over the New Year period in Scarborough.

Thor left Blyth on Tuesday 3 January after attracted a crowd. Credit: PA

A spokesperson said police officers were involved in patrols around the area, dealing with a “small handful” of “difficult” members of the public and one person broke the cordon and entered private property to try and take a photograph.

BDMLR said the crowd was up to 350 people-strong at time, with several thousand people estimated to have visited during Thor’s stay. The "vast majority" were "immeasurably respectful" during the visit.

Scarborough’s New Year’s Eve firework display was cancelled as a result of his presence.

After his departure on 1 January at 4:30pm to a cheering crowd, people were still arriving to catch a glimpse of the now famous walrus, BDMLR said.

A BDMLR spokesperson thanked those involved in keeping Thor safe and undisturbed.

Humberside Police Sergeant Jenna Jones (Operation Seabird national policing lead) who joined us on the day, said: “Having starting Operation Seabird on the Yorkshire Coast to prevent disturbances to our seabirds and marine mammals it was an unbelievable privilege to support colleagues & volunteers ensuring Thor was healthy and undisturbed.

“I thank the public for keeping your distance and all your questions. You certainly tested my walrus knowledge! In 2023 I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with BDMLR for the benefit of our marine wildlife.”

Last year, another walrus - nicknamed Freya - was seen in Northumberland. The female mammal was later euthanised in Norway after being considered a "threat to human safety" due to the crowds she attracted.

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