A seaside town’s New Year fireworks were cancelled on the advice of wildlife experts due to the presence of a wandering walrus.
It is believed that the mammal, who has come to be known as Thor, popped up in Scarborough in North Yorkshire on Friday afternoon.
The Arctic walrus is widely believed to be taking a break during a journey north.
He was previously spotted on the Hampshire coastline last month amid sightings as far away as Brittany in France.
Scarborough Borough Council cancelled the town’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display on the advice of British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Its experts had expressed concerns that loud bangs and bright flashes could cause “distress” to Thor.
They had previously requested people not to disturb the creature and cordons have been put in place.
The unusual visitor has attracted large crowds.
They are said to have witnessed some playful behaviour.
RSPCA inspector Geoff Edmond, who has determined that the walrus does not appear to be sick or injured, encouraged people to enjoy the sight from a respectful distance.
He 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.”