The great attention for the female walrus Freya in Norway has now become his undoing. For safety reasons, the animal was euthanized on Sunday morning, as the fisheries directorate announced afterwards. The almost 600-kilogram walrus had appeared again and again in the past few weeks in front of the Norwegian capital Oslo, had laid on boats at anchor and developed into a summer attraction. Usually, walruses live further north in arctic waters.
The authorities had repeatedly warned onlookers, tourists and residents to keep their distance. The fishing directorate was particularly bothered by the fact that people had jumped into the water with Freya and had come very close to the animal with children on the bank to take photos.
“We weighed all possible options,” said the director of fisheries, Frank Bakke-Jensen, according to a statement. A transfer of the animal had previously been discussed. However, the risks for such an action were too great.
One can understand if the public is now dismayed, said Bakke-Jensen. But although animal welfare is a valuable asset, human life and safety must come first.