Aug 14, 2022 - World

Norway puts down beloved walrus, citing public safety concerns

A young female walrus nicknamed Freya rests on a boat in Frognerkilen, Oslo Fjord, Norway, on July 19, 2022. Photo: TOR ERIK SCHRDER/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

Norwegian authorities on Sunday euthanized a 1,300-pound walrus named Freya, who captivated onlookers and the internet this summer as she climbed aboard and damaged boats along the country's coastline.

Driving the news: Frank Bakke-Jensen, the director general of fisheries, said in a press release that authorities decided to put the animal down due to the "continued threat to human safety."

  • The public was disregarding the guidance to keep a clear distance from the walrus, increasing the possibility someone could get hurt, the press release said.
  • Authorities considered moving Freya but decided it was not a viable option, according to the press release.
  • "We have sympathies for the fact that the decision can cause reactions with the public, but I am firm that this was the right call," Bakke-Jensen said. "We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence."
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