Norway euthanizes Freya, a walrus beloved by sightseers

Norway has euthanized a walrus beloved by sightseers after the creature’s close interactions with humans led to safety concerns.

Freya, who was named for the Norse goddess of love and beauty, had charmed onlookers with her habit of sunbathing on boats in the Oslo fjord.

Norway euthanizes beloved walrus

Norway’s fisheries directorate made the decision to put the walrus down after the public was not cooperative with warnings to stay away from the 1,300-pound animal.

“The decision to euthanize was taken on the basis of a global evaluation of the persistent threat to human security,” the head of Norway’s fisheries directorate, Frank Bakke-Jensen, said in a statement.

The government had considered relocating Freya but ruled it out after deciding it would have been too complicated and risky.

Walrus attacks are rare, but they may occur if they feel threatened, the statement added.

“We carefully examined all the possible solutions. We concluded that we could not guarantee the wellbeing of the animal by any of the means available,” Bakke-Jensen said.

“Totally unnecessary”

Freya became a media sensation after she was first spotted off the coast of Oslo in July. She is also known to have traveled to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, among other countries.

Walruses are a protected species. They are rarely found outside the Arctic region.

Although the government says they had no choice but to put Freya down, biologist Rune Aae at the University of South-Eastern Norway disagreed, calling the killing “completely unnecessary.”

“Freya had sooner or later gotten out of the Oslofjord, which all previous experience has shown, so euthanasia was, in my view, completely unnecessary,” he said.

Is this what “progressive” morality looks like?

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