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Thor The Wandering Walrus Seen In Iceland


Thor, the walrus who achieved movie star standing after visiting England in December, has just lately been noticed nearer to residence. On Friday 24th February 2023, the wandering marine mammal turned up in Breiðdalsvík, a fishing city in East Iceland.

Walruses are seldom seen in Iceland, regardless of the nation’s northerly location, and Thor should have a long way to go earlier than finishing his journey. Some specialists recommend he might have set off from as far-off because the Canadian Arctic.

Walrus In The Arctic
Walruses at residence within the Arctic.

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Thor The “Wandering Walrus”

Thor is regarded as between three and 5 years previous, which continues to be younger for a walrus; the species can dwell as much as 30 years within the wild. He’s estimated to weigh round three quarters of a tonne (1,653.47 lb) and should have some rising to do; grownup male walruses sometimes weigh between 800 and 1,700 kg (1,764 and three,748 lb.)

All through his travels, Thor seems to have been in good well being. Scientists stay uncertain as to what precipitated the adolescent marine mammal to embark on his 2,000 mile-plus journey.

The place Did Thor The Walrus Go to?

The opening date of Thor’s European tour passed off within the Netherlands, the place the walrus was noticed at Petten, and afterward Neeltje Jans Island, on the 6th November 2022.

The tusked traveller then proceeded to swim westwards previous Belgium to France, making an look in Dieppe on the 18th November.

After making his manner alongside the French coast so far as Plouguiel in Brittany, Thor turned northwards to England, crossing the English Channel and hauling out up at Calshot, close to Southampton, the place he was noticed by fishermen early on Sunday 11th December.

Thor The Walrus In Scarborough

Thor’s journey continued anti-clockwise across the British coast, along with his subsequent port of name being Scarborough, a seaside resort in North Yorkshire. Right here, on the night of 30th December, Thor hauled out on the slipway of the city’s busy harbour, the place he stayed for the night time and far of the next day.

Thor’s look precipitated a sensation within the North Yorkshire city and acquired protection within the nationwide media, the walrus’s look trying incongruous towards a backdrop of fishing boats and flashing Christmas lights.

Scarborough England
Scarborough, England

In order to not trigger misery to the wayward walrus, Scarborough’s New 12 months’s Eve firework show was cancelled. Regardless of this, Thor’s go to was welcomed by the locals, who flocked to the harbour of their 1000’s to welcome their uncommon visitor.

The eye didn’t appear to concern Thor, who spent many of the day dozing, solely stirring to maneuver larger up the slipway because the tide rose.

Monitoring the state of affairs always have been members of the British Divers’ Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), an organisation created particularly to help within the rescue of marine animals.

Finally, at round twenty previous 4, and below cowl of the late afternoon darkness, Thor shuffled to the aspect of the slipway and slipped again into the ocean.

Two days later, on the twond January 2003, Thor turned up in Blyth, a coastal city in Northumberland some 75 mile north of Scarborough. This was the final time Thor was to be seen in England.

Thor The Walrus In Iceland

Virtually two months later, on the 24th February, a walrus hauled out onto a floating pier within the fishing city of Breiðdalsvík, in east Iceland.

Comparability of markings on this walrus’s physique with pictures of Thor taken within the UK revealed that the animals have been one and the identical – Thor had reappeared to take one more pit cease on his lengthy voyage residence.

Though Iceland is situated on the sting of the arctic Ocean, it’s nonetheless extremely uncommon for a walrus to be seen on the nation’s coast.

Providing hope to these wishing Thor a protected return is the truth that Iceland is separated from Greenland – which does have a resident walrus inhabitants – by simply 250 miles of ocean: a comparatively small distance for an animal that has already lined upwards of two,000 miles.

Maybe, at this very second, Thor is hauled out on a Greenland seaside regaling different walruses with tales of his epic journey – and of the kindness and consideration he was proven by people alongside the best way.


Walrus Sightings In The UK

Walruses are extraordinarily uncommon in UK waters, with solely round 27 sightings having been reported within the final 130 years.

Latest sightings embody Wally, one other younger male walrus, who was seen in Eire, Wales, England, France and Spain; and Freya, an older feminine, who visited a number of northern European international locations, together with the UK. Sadly, Freya was euthanized in Norway, the nation’s authorities having determined that she was a hazard to the general public.


High Walrus Info

Walrus Head Close Up
The walrus is a marine mammal.
  1. The walrus is the one member of the household Odobenidae. Its scientific title is Odobenus rosmarus.
  2. The walrus has two subspecies: the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).
  3. The walrus is the world’s third-largest pinniped. (A pinniped is a member of Pinnipedia, a gaggle of marine mammals that can be residence to all seals and sea lions.) Solely the 2 species of elephant seal are bigger than the walrus.
  4. The ancestors of all marine mammals have been land animals that, over tens of millions of years, developed to dwell within the sea.
  5. A walrus’s tusks are elongated higher canine tooth.
  6. Each female and male walruses have tusks, though these of the male are longer and thicker.
  7. The tusks of a giant male walrus can attain lengths of as much as 1 m / 3.28 ft.
  8. A walrus makes use of its tusks to pull itself out of the water.
  9. The walrus’s whiskers, or vibrissae, are extremely delicate, and are used for foraging on the seabed.
  10. A walrus might have as much as 700 vibrissae.
  11. The eating regimen of the walrus consists primarily of bivalve molluscs, particularly clams, along with all kinds of different marine organisms, together with shrimp, crabs, and snails.
  12. The orca has solely two pure predators: the polar bear and the killer whale / orca.

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