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People urged to keep their distance from Thor the walrus

People urged to keep their distance from Thor the walrus

The creature has been spotted on a UK beach and people have been warned to stay well back

People have been warned to stay well back after a walrus was spotted chilling on a UK beach.

The huge creature - nicknamed Thor - was discovered in Calshot, Hampshire, during the early hours yesterday (Sunday 11 December), prompting crowds to gather to get a look at the animal.

You can see the magnificent beast below:

However, the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) has urged people to resist paying Thor a visit.

Dan Jarvis, director of welfare and conservation at the charity, said: "Repeated visitors are going to prevent the animal from conserving its energy and making its next journey.

"The more people than can leave it alone, the better chance it has of surviving."

Thor was first spotted in the Netherlands on 6 November and has been travelling along the coast of France over the past few weeks, with the UK the latest stop on his European tour.

The walrus swam off again on Sunday afternoon, but could well crop up again on a UK beach in the coming days. If Thor does, people are advised not to spread the word far and wide.

The BDMLR said: "We've not had any location details yet as to where it's gone - but it may well appear somewhere along the coast again tonight or tomorrow.

"If you do happen to spot it, don't share the location on social media but stay well clear and contact us."

Thor has been spotted in the Netherlands and France over recent weeks.
Steve Blanchard/BDMLR

Last year, two walruses visited the UK – Wally, who came to south Wales and the Isles of Scilly, and Freya, who visited Northumberland and Shetland.

The BDMLR said their differing fates highlighted the importance of leaving the animals alone.

"Wally required very involved management from welfare groups on the ground to keep him and people safe until he moved on successfully," the charity said.

"In contrast, Freya returned to Norway where a critical lack of management of her situation led to large crowds gathering close around her.

"She was killed by Norwegian authorities in August as she was deemed to be a danger to the public."

It added: "Key advice is being issued to everyone to give the walrus a very wide berth to avoid disturbing it.

"Walruses travel long distances and have rest stops to recover and regain energy before moving on again.

"Every time it is disturbed by people being too close or noisy will impact its chance of survival. Walruses are protected from disturbance under UK law."

Featured Image Credit: Steve Blanchard/BDMLR

Topics: UK News, Animals