Freya the Walrus Euthanized by Norway Due to Safety Concerns Over Incessant Tourist Crowds
Freya the walrus has been euthanized by the Norwegian government following growing public safety concerns.
Freya became a social media star after she damaged several small boats while claiming her ideal sunbathing spots off the coast of Norway. The 1,300-pound walrus had garnered many fans over the summer after being spotted basking in the sun in the Oslo fjord.
Unfortunately, incessant tourist crowds posed too great a risk for public safety and Freya was put down.
"The decision to euthanize was taken on the basis of a global evaluation of the persistent threat to human security," Frank Bakke-Jenson, head of Norway's fisheries directorate, explained in a statement. "We carefully examined all the possible solutions. We concluded that we could not guarantee the well-being of the animal by any of the means available."
He continued: "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. We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence."
The news was shared alongside a photograph of the massive walrus with a large crowd standing mere feet away from her.
Sadly, curious onlookers approaching the celebrity animal raised major questions of safety. After several failed attempts from the Directorate of Fisheries to keep people away from Freya, officials say euthanasia was the only way to ensure public safety.
Freya, whose name was derived from the Norse goddess of beauty and love, had become a massive tourist attraction over the summer, attracting large crowds who gathered to see her basking in all her glory.
The lone animal could often be spotted sleeping an average of 20 hours per day; however, when she was awake, she was very active.
The walrus is a protected species that feeds mainly on invertebrates such as mollusks, shrimps, crabs and small fish.
Freya's fate has caused a massive uproar on social media, with many claiming her death was unnecessary.
"Unbelievable! This beautiful animal was destroyed because of useless humans' insanity," one Facebook user wrote.
"This is appalling. They made the wrong call, and the call they made was monetary in nature and not what was best for the animal. It was cheaper to kill her than relocate or put a police officer on watch. Both of those simple solutions would have been better. They have no honor, and may the gods punish them for their inequities," another wrote.
"Shame on you, Norway government!!! Shame!!" someone else commented.