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Norwegian Walrus Euthanized After Getting Too Near Humans

Norwegian Government Euthanizes Walrus Which Got Near Humans

8/14/2022 4: 57 PM PT

A famous walrus in Norway has been killed following the government there thought it had been obtaining a little too close for comfort when it found human contact.

The Director General at the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries announced Sunday that Freya — the 1,300 pound walrus involved — was euthanized after officials deemed its habits of approaching humans and their boats were becoming too dangerous and a risk to the general public.

Frank Bakke-Jensen, the honcho, says, “Your choice to euthanize the walrus was made predicated on a standard assessment of the continued threat to human safety.”

Freya made a splash come early july after flopping itself into boats close to the Oslo Fjord — where they’d often be docked. In some instances, she partially sank the vessels … and in others, she could catch just a little tan in sunlight, minding her very own business as people looked on.

Freya, the 600-kg walrus, has had up residence in Norway’s capital city of Oslo, capturing the hearts of locals while basking in sunlight.

pic.twitter.com/S9BPygIJW8

Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) August 9, 2022 @ErikSolheim

It may be those same those who are to be blamed for this, so say Norwegian officials. Their rationale to putting the pet down has been chalked around the massive crowds that could form around Freya whenever she’d come near — that is rare for walruses.

Spectators would approach and take selfies, something the federal government says was towing the type of potential harm — and which caused officials to warn everyone to remain away.

In memory of #Freya – the wandering Walrus that graced us here Shetland last winter.

MURDERED today by the Directorate of Fisheries in #Norway because she was regarded as a “continued threat to human safety”.

Abhorrent and unforgivable on every level. pic.twitter.com/Nu6z1qnIpl

Hugh Harrop Wildlife (@HughHarrop) August 14, 2022 @HughHarrop

Some are angry that the walrus was euthanized, arguing it wasn’t necessary and that it could eventually swim away alone. However the fisheries director is holding his ground on the decision — telling CNN, “We’ve sympathies for the truth that the decision could cause reactions with the general public, but I’m firm that was the proper call,” Bakke-Jensen continued. “We’ve great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence.”

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