the walrus Freya, which sank boats in Oslo, was sacrificed – Liberation

The animal roamed the boats for its long naps in the port of the Norwegian capital. The decision to sacrifice him, defended by the authorities as the only “viable”, is controversial in the country.

While the soap opera of the lost beluga on the Seine ended tragically, the one about the walrus in the port of Oslo also ends, with an even more brutal ending. A summer sensation in the Norwegian capital’s fjord, the walrus Freya was euthanized on Sunday because it attracted too many spectators and posed a safety hazard, officials said.

damage in port

Walruses generally live in latitudes even further north of the Arctic, but Freya, whose name refers to a goddess associated with love and beauty in Norse mythology, has been bathing in Oslo’s waters since July 17. The young female of around 600 kilos was filmed chasing birds or climbing onto boats rocking under her weight to nap there (a walrus can sleep up to twenty hours a day), causing significant damage in the process.

Since 2021, Freya has circumnavigated the North Sea, passing along the German, Scottish and Danish coasts according to her journey reconstructed by a biologist. She was even seen dozing off in a Dutch submarine, according to the report. Guardian.

“The decision to euthanize the walrus was made based on an overall assessment of the ongoing threat to human security”Norwegian Fisheries Directorate chief Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement. “We have carefully considered all possible solutions. We concluded that we could not guarantee the welfare of the animal by any means available.”He continued.

‘Very shocking’

Authorities warned on Thursday that Freya could be euthanized if the public did not stay away from the mammal. “Let Freya Live”then launched the environmentalist party Os Verdes. “Experts had already advocated, among other things, giving her sedatives and then taking her out of populated areas or bringing her back to Svalbard.”he recommended on Instagram, advising “admiring her from afar, and leaving her alone.”

For experts, the euthanasia decision does not take into account animal welfare. “It’s very shocking. We are in a situation that provides an opportunity to show consideration for wild animals and to show people how to show consideration for wild animals. A spokesperson for the NOAH animal protection association, Siri Martinsen, told TV2. She deplores a rash move. “We should have tried fines. We would probably have seen these masses of people quickly disappear.she judged.

Despite the instructions, onlookers bathed near the animal or approached excessively, sometimes with children, to photograph it. “It’s infinitely sad that they chose to sacrifice such a beautiful animal simply because we didn’t behave well with it.” in turn, said biologist Rune Aae, interviewed by the local agency NTB.

The Fisheries Directorate argued that Freya’s well-being, who was about five years old, had drastically declined, with experts now deeming her stressed. A protected species, the walrus feeds mainly on invertebrates such as molluscs, shrimp, crabs and small fish. Although it does not normally attack humans, it can, according to authorities, feel threatened by unwanted people and attack them. Considered, Freya’s displacement, “not a viable option” because of its complexity, explained the Director of Fisheries.

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