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A beloved walrus was shot down Sunday morning after Norwegian authorities determined it posed a risk to humans.

Freya was a 1,320-pound walrus who became a popular attraction in the Oslo Fjord. She was first spotted in Oslo waters on July 17, an unusual sighting as walruses usually live in the Arctic Ocean.

Freya was so popular that people often approached her for photos, despite appeals from authorities for humans to keep a safe distance from her.

The 1,320-pound beauty – named after the Norse goddess of love – gained notoriety for climbing small boats, causing them damage.

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Freya, seen here in a July photo, was suppressed after officials determined she posed a risk to humans.
(Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB Scanpix via AP)

Until July, officials said they hoped Freya would leave of her own free will and that euthanasia would be a last resort. In denouncing the euthanasia, Norwegian officials referred to the public’s reluctance to keep away from the marine mammal.

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“Through the on-site observations last week, it was made clear that the public has ignored the current recommendation to keep a clear distance from the walrus,” says a statement from the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate.

Freya the walrus sitting on a boat at Frognerkilen in Oslo, Norway, July 18, 2022.

Freya the walrus sitting on a boat at Frognerkilen in Oslo, Norway, July 18, 2022.
(Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB Scanpix via AP)

“Therefore, the management concluded, the possibility of potential harm to people was high and the welfare of the animals was not maintained”, the statement continues.

Frank Bakke-Jensen, chief of the fisheries directorate, said he was sympathetic to the “public reaction” but kept the decision.

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“We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence,” said Bakke-Jensen.

Walruses usually live in the Arctic Ocean.

Walruses usually live in the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic walruses rarely travel south to Europe via the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Another walrus, nicknamed Wally, was seen on beaches and even on a rescue pier in Wales and elsewhere last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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