A walrus was spotted off the coast of Iceland after visiting the UK

A walrus was spotted in Iceland after visiting the UK

A wandering walrus has reappeared in Iceland nearly two months after it was last seen in the UK

Ellis Bitour/Sons

A wandering walrus named Thor has arrived in eastern Iceland after a recent visit to the UK.

The large mammal visited the Netherlands and Dieppe in northern France last year before it was spotted on the coast of southern England in mid-December. It has become a sensation because walruses are rare visitors to the UK. He later travels north to Scarborough, a town on the east coast of England, where the locals have canceled New Year’s Eve fireworks to avoid disturbing him.

Thor arrived in the Icelandic fishing town of Breiddalsvík on Feb. 24, turning up his nose at frozen fish provided by port guards, according to Iceland’s national broadcasting service, RUV.

As in the UK, it caught the attention of locals, who took pictures of it as it passed by. Walruses used to be found all over Iceland, but the local population went extinct centuries ago.

Although Thor is “an amazing thing to see”, he should be left alone to rest so he doesn’t expend energy unnecessarily, Rod Downey of UK conservation charity WWF told the BBC.

The walrus is believed to be a teenage Atlantic walrus between the ages of 3 and 5 that has wandered south from the Canadian Arctic. It is now thought to travel north to cooler waters, resting on the way. Fully mature male Atlantic walruses reach 2.4 meters in length and weigh up to 900 kilograms.

A spokesperson for British Divers Marine Life Rescue told the BBC: “After Thor visited the UK, we wondered if we would see him again.” “We are happy to know that he is in Iceland.”

Climate change and overhunting mean walruses are vulnerable to extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rising temperatures will melt Arctic sea ice on which animals rest, reproduce and give birth.


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