U.K. Town Cancels New Year’s Eve Fireworks To Protect Thor The Walrus

On New Year’s Eve, people around the world celebrate to bring in the New Year. People celebrate in different ways, but a common thing people do is set off fireworks.

A small town in England planned on having a firework display for the residents to enjoy at midnight on New Year’s Eve but an out-of-place Arctic walrus canceled those plans.

Photo: Pexels/Davidson Free Media

According to the BBC, the walrus was spotted late at night on the 30th in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in England.

That walrus, Thor, was spotted previously around the U.K. and his unusual presence has drawn the attention of wildlife experts along with members of the public.

Photo: Pexels/Jonathan Cooper

According to a news release from Scarborough, the city had planned a six-minute fireworks display to start at midnight to ring in the New Year. The location of the display was supposed to be right around where Thor was sighted.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue released a statement on the walrus noting that they immediately sectioned off the area where he slept before the public noticed his presence. It’s a good thing they did that because thousands of people ended up crowding around Thor to see him.

The rescue group wrote, “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. It is estimated several thousand people were in attendance over the whole day though likely far more.”

While Thor was sleeping, the rescue group noticed that “he was agitated by a few noisy vehicles passing with bright lights.” Seeing how those few things irritated the walrus, the group began to worry about the New Year’s Eve firework display that was scheduled to take place in close proximity to where Thor was lounging.

Photo: Flickr/Thomas Tolkien License: CC BY 2.0

In the statement, the rescue reported that they told the city council that the firework display could affect the walrus and “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.”

Thor was previously spotted in Calshot, Hampshire in the U.K.

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