WATCH: Freya the walrus that attracted crowds in Oslo fjord euthanised


A walrus known as Freya who drew crowds while enjoying the Oslo fjord was put to death on Sunday. Norwegian officials claimed it was the only option, while experts criticised the action as “infinitely sad.”

The head of Norway’s Fisheries Directorate Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement, “The decision to euthanise was taken on the basis of a global evaluation of the persistent threat to human security. We carefully examined all the possible solutions. We concluded that we could not guarantee the well-being of the animal by any of the means available,” he said. 

Officials had earlier stated that they were considering euthanasia since the young girl, who weighed 600 kilos (1,300 pounds), was under a lot of stress and repeated requests to the public to keep their distance from her had been ineffective. 

Since she was first discovered on July 17 in the waters off the coast of the Norwegian city, Freya—whose name is a homage to the Norse goddess of beauty and love—has garnered media attention. Walruses typically inhabit the Arctic’s extremely northernmost regions.

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Freya had been captured on camera chasing a duck, assaulting a swan, and, more frequently than not, dozing on boats that were struggling to hold her weight in between long naps in the sun (a walrus may sleep up to 20 hours per day). Despite several requests, inquisitive people kept approaching the creature to take pictures, occasionally with kids in tow. 

Experts opined that Freya’s welfare was not considered in the decision to put her to death. Animal rights advocate Siri Martinsen told TV2 that the action was hasty and that fines ought to have been imposed to scatter the onlookers.

(with inputs from agencies)





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