Rare sighting at North Yorkshire harbour as young walrus returns to Arctic

<img src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/BcwJ.UzTSpsw95PfVe9C1A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MDtjZj13ZWJw/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the_northern_echo_uk_642/2ac2b917148a9549c61c89f63ba018fd&quot; alt="The walrus is believed to be resting as it travels back towards the Arctic <i>(Image: James Spencer)
The walrus is believed to be resting as it travels back towards the Arctic (Image: James Spencer)

A walrus spotted resting is believed to be making its way up the North East coast as it returns to the Arctic.

The large sea mammal is believed to be “Thor”, an adolescent male first seen in Southampton earlier this month.

Crowds gathered in the seaside town of Scarborough early on New Year’s Eve after reports of the impressive creature emerged.

The Northern Echo: The walrus was spotted in Scarborough
The Northern Echo: The walrus was spotted in Scarborough

The walrus was spotted in Scarborough (Image: James Spencer)

Experts from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team have been to the scene and advise d people not to get too close or let dogs loose near the animal.

Police and rescue teams are making sure the walrus, which arrived on the slipway into the North Yorkshire harbour at midnight, is not disturbed.

It is understood walruses can rest for periods between six and 24 hours and are best left alone.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue has sent out a team of three to co-ordinate the effort while North Yorkshire Police fenced off the area.

Molly Gray, Rescue and Community Co-ordinator, said the walrus is older than three, a male and “sexually mature but not socially mature, yet”.

She said: “It’s really important that the walrus is left with plenty of space and a quiet environment so it’s able to rest.

“Walruses make long journeys so it’s really important that he conserves his energy.”

The Northern Echo: The walrus is believed to be 'Thor', who was spotted in Southampton earlier this month
The Northern Echo: The walrus is believed to be ‘Thor’, who was spotted in Southampton earlier this month

The walrus is believed to be ‘Thor’, who was spotted in Southampton earlier this month (Image: James Spencer)

Ms Gray also advised onlookers to resist the temptation to feed him, as walruses can forage seabed, eating muscles, clams and razor shells.

She added: “Our biggest advice is to stay away, and I know it’s tempting to go and see him.”

“We’re not really sure why he’s there to be honest, we can confirm it was the same walrus that was in Southampton about a month ago. Hopefully he’s making the journey back up north.

“We think he’s visiting due to climate change – walruses live in the Arctic and we think because the ice caps are melting, that’s why he’s travelled so far south.”

It is believed to be the first time a walrus has been spotted in Yorkshire.

Resident Richard Coulson, 51, said: “I live just round the corner from where it actually is and the traffic up and down our road – it’s just like a summer’s day, it really is absolutely teeming with cars and people. It’s amazing how much attention it’s brought.

“It’s been well protected – it’s been cordoned off so you can’t get within 20 feet of it.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one. It’s huge. We see seals quite regularly round Scarborough coastline but something of that size, it’s enormous.

“You respect nature when you see something of that size. Its tusks are bigger than my arms.”

Stuart Ford, who runs the Sealife Safari boat tour agency, said: “I was going down to my boat and there it was on the slipway – magnificent. It’s got to be half a ton.

“I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime, first-time-ever thing in Scarborough to see.”

The Sea Life Scarborough aquarium said its animal care team is monitoring the walrus’s situation, along with the RSPCA and British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

They wrote on social media: “Please do not worry – he appears well and is just taking a well deserved rest after his long adventure!

“Please be respectful of his rest and try not to disturb him. While it is a very exciting opportunity for us, naturally they do not like lots of noise and are not familiar with domestic animals so please keep pets on leads and remain a safe distance for your own welfare and his.

“Hopefully within a few days he will have got enough rest to move on and continue his adventures North!”

RSPCA inspector Geoff Edmond, who was with the walrus on Friday night and Saturday morning, said it does not appear to be sick or injured, and encouraged people to enjoy the sight from a respectful distance.

Mr Edmond said: “We understand it’s exciting and unusual to have the walrus take up a temporary residence, however, it’s in his best interests to be left alone as much as possible, so we’re asking people to remember he is a wild animal and avoid the temptation to get near to him and disturb him.

“We would also remind everyone that the walrus is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and so disturbing the animal may constitute an offence.”

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: