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Norway Kills Freya, a 1,300-pound Walrus Who Delighted Onlookers

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 shifting her was “too excessive threat.”

“In the long run, we could not see another 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 numerous relaxation and folks had been bothering Freya by swimming along with her and taking pictures of her. The Oslo Fjord is busy in summer time, with swimmers, boaters and different water recreationists. Walruses are social animals and barely enterprise someplace alone, which can have been why Freya had hung out in a extremely populated space.

The directorate had repeatedly warned folks to keep away from the animal, however principally they did not 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 folks on paddle boards and kayaks.”

He didn’t specify how Freya was killed, however mentioned it was “based on rules.”

Freya was noticed off the coasts of Britain and varied European nations, together with the Netherlands and Denmark, for at the very least two years.

There are roughly 225,000 walruses within the wild, based on the World Huge Fund for Nature. They reside in ice-covered waters in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and Alaska.

Of their ordinary 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 folks know when to keep away from her. In a Fb publish on Sunday, he referred to 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, in my opinion, utterly pointless,” he wrote.

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