Norwegian authorities could euthanize Freya, Oslo's favorite walrus
Updated 00:10, 13-Aug-2022

Norwegian authorities are considering euthanizing a walrus that has won hearts basking in the sun of the Oslo fjord, amid fears it is putting itself and the public in danger.

Despite repeated appeals to the public to keep their distance from the walrus, the young 600kg female – nicknamed Freya – continues to attract big crowds, the Fisheries Directorate said in a statement.


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"The public's reckless behavior and failure to follow authorities' recommendations could put lives in danger," said Nadia Jdaini, a spokeswoman for the fisheries agency. "We are now exploring other measures, and euthanasia may be a real alternative", she warned.

Freya, whose name is a reference to the Norse goddess of beauty and love, has made headlines since July 17 when she was first spotted in the waters of the Norwegian capital.

Freya's antics have made her popular... too popular. /Tor Erik Schroder/AFP

Freya's antics have made her popular... too popular. /Tor Erik Schroder/AFP

Walruses normally live in the even more northerly latitudes of the Arctic. Between long naps – a walrus can sleep up to 20 hours a day – Freya has been filmed chasing a duck, attacking a swan and, more often than not, dozing on boats struggling to support her bulk.

Despite the recommendations, some curious onlookers have continued to approach her, sometimes with children in tow, to take photographs.

"Her health has clearly declined. The walrus is not getting enough rest and the experts we have consulted now suspect that the animal is stressed," Jdaini said.

Walruses, a protected species, normally eat molluscs, small fish, shrimps and crabs. While they do not normally attack people, they can if they feel threatened.

Source(s): AFP

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