Freya, the 1,300-pound sunken walrus boat in Norway, euthanized

Freya became a sensation on social media this summer, Ron Aye, who studies biology at Southeastern Norway University and runs a Google map of Freya’s sights, told CNN. The young walrus was spending time in the Oslo Fjord, a bay on the southeast coast of the country, and was apparently unafraid of humans, unlike most walruses. Several popular videos show a walrus climbing onto small boats to sunbathe.

Last week, the department warned the public to stay away from Freya, saying they had seen visitors swimming with Freya, throwing objects at her, and getting dangerously close to her to take pictures. “The current recommendation to keep a clear distance from walruses has been ignored by the public,” Nadia El-Gedini, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, told CNN in an email.

Previously, the directorate told CNN it was studying multiple solutions, including moving Freya out of the fjord. “The great complexity of such an operation led us to conclude that this was not a viable option,” Buck-Jensen said in the press release.

“We sympathize with the fact that the decision could cause reactions in the public, but I am firm that this was the right call,” Buck-Jensen continued. “We have great respect for animal welfare, but human life and safety should be the priority.” The directorate included a photo of an apparently large crowd a few meters away from Freya in its release.

walrus Al-Jedini said that his weight ranges between 600 and 900 kilograms, or between 1,300 and 2,000 pounds. There are more than 25,000 Atlantic walruses making their homes in the icy waters around Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. According to the World Wildlife Fund. Marine mammals migrate along the coast to feed on mollusks and other invertebrates in shallow waters.
Freya rests on a boat in Frognerkilen, Oslo Fjord, Norway, on July 19, 2022.

Marine mammals are usually wary of humans and stay on the outer edges of the coast of Norway. Aae, a professor of biology who tracks Freya’s sightings, said the last time a southernmost walrus was documented in the North Sea was 2013. “This is not at all common,” he said — leading to throngs of Norwegians to see Freya.

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“Normally, walruses appear on some islands, but they will soon leave, because they are afraid of people,” said Aae.

But he said Freya is “not afraid of people”. “Actually, I think she loves people. That’s why she won’t leave.”

in Facebook share After Freya’s death was announced, Ai condemned the directorate’s decision to euthanize her as “too hasty”. He said fisheries workers have been monitoring her with a patrol boat to ensure the safety of the public and that she will likely leave the fjord soon, as she did on her previous visits in the spring.

“Sooner or later you will come out of the Oslofjord, which all previous experiences have shown, so euthanasia was, in my view, completely unnecessary,” Freya wrote.

“what a shame!”

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