The Norwegian authorities killed a 1,300-pound walrus named Freya on Sunday who had spent the previous weeks off the coast of Oslo climbing onto boats and lounging on piers, saying that transferring her was “too excessive threat.”
“Ultimately, we couldn’t see some other choices,” mentioned Olav Lekver, a spokesman for the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. “She was in an space that wasn’t pure for her.”
Mr. Lekver mentioned walruses wanted lots of relaxation and other people had been bothering Freya by swimming together with her and taking images of her. The Oslo Fjord is busy in summer time, with swimmers, boaters and different water recreationists. Walruses are social animals and infrequently enterprise someplace alone, which can have been why Freya had frolicked in a extremely populated space.
The directorate had repeatedly warned individuals to keep away from the animal, however they largely didn’t pay attention, Mr. Lekver mentioned. The authorities warned final week that Freya confronted the prospect of being killed if they may not persuade onlookers to remain away.
Freya grew to become a risk to human security, Mr. Lekver mentioned, including, “She chased individuals on paddle boards and kayaks.”
He didn’t specify how Freya was killed, however mentioned it was “in keeping with rules.”
Freya was noticed off the coasts of Britain and numerous European international locations, together with the Netherlands and Denmark, for no less than two years.
There are roughly 225,000 walruses within the wild, in keeping with the World Huge Fund for Nature. They stay in ice-covered waters in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and Alaska.
Of their typical habitat, walruses haul themselves onto sheets of ice. Within the case of Freya, she was hauling herself onto piers and boats. Some ice sheets are melting due to local weather change, inflicting walruses to lose a few of their habitat.
“Many different choices ought to’ve been tried earlier than killing her,” mentioned Rune Aae, a biologist on the College of South-Japanese Norway who had been monitoring Freya’s motion on a Google map to assist individuals know when to keep away from her. In a Fb put up on Sunday, he known as the choice to kill her “too hasty.”
“Freya had eventually gotten out of the Oslofjord, which all earlier expertise has proven, so euthanasia was, for my part, fully pointless,” he wrote.