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Norway places down beloved walrus Freya, destroyer of boats

BERLIN — Authorities in Norway have euthanized a walrus that had drawn crowds of spectators within the Oslo Fjord after concluding that it posed a threat to people.

The 600-kilogram (1,320-pound) feminine walrus, recognized affectionately as Freya, grew to become a preferred attraction in Norway in latest weeks, regardless of warnings from officers that folks ought to chorus from getting shut and posing for photos with the large marine mammal. Freya favored to clamber on small boats, inflicting injury to them.

Walruses are protected, and as just lately as final month, officers mentioned they hoped Freya would go away of her personal accord and that euthanasia could be a final resort.

Norway Walrus Euthanized
Freya the walrus sitting on a ship in Frognerkilen in Oslo, Norway, Monday July 18, 2022. Authorities in Norway mentioned Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 they’ve euthanized a walrus that had drawn crowds of spectators within the Oslo Fjord after concluding that it posed a threat to people.

(Tor Erik Schrøder/NTB Scanpix by way of AP)

Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries mentioned Freya was put down early Sunday “based mostly on an general evaluation of the continued menace to human security.”

“By on-site observations the previous week, it was made clear that the general public has disregarded the present suggestion to maintain a transparent distance to the walrus,” it mentioned. “Subsequently, the Directorate has concluded, the likelihood for potential hurt to folks was excessive and animal welfare was not being maintained.”

The pinnacle of the directorate, Frank Bakke-Jensen, mentioned different choices, together with shifting the animal elsewhere, have been thought-about. However authorities concluded it wasn’t a viable possibility.

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“We have now sympathies for the truth that the choice may cause a response from the general public, however I’m agency that this was the best name,” Bakke-Jensen mentioned. “We have now nice regard for animal welfare, however human life and security should take priority.”

Atlantic walruses usually dwell within the Arctic. It’s uncommon however not remarkable for them to journey into the North and Baltic Seas. One other walrus, nicknamed Wally, was seen final yr on seashores and even a lifeboat dock in Wales and elsewhere.



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