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We Regret to Inform You Freya the Yacht-Loving Walrus Has Been Put Down

Gizmodo Australia logo Gizmodo Australia 15/08/2022 Asha Barbaschow

Freya, the stunning 600kg young female walrus that had been attracting a number of crowds in Europe with her antics, has been euthanised by authorities. It's awful and we're in shock.

Freya the walrus caught our attention last month when she was causing chaos in the cutest way possible over the other side of the world.

Brought to our attention by The Guardian, the Summer of Freya had involved the walrus spending some time in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, with her latest adventure enchanting Norwegians by basking in the sun of the Oslo fjord.

https://twitter.com/steinkobbe/status/1549470090030202885

 

An earlier version of this article pointed to reports that indicated local authorities weren’t interested in moving or euthanising Freya and had instead decided to just leave her be. In fact, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries put out a statement encouraging people to leave Freya alone. The statement, translated via Google Translate from Norwegian to English, said:

"She is a wild animal of around 600 kg, which is not necessarily as dorky and clumsy as one might get the impression."

Despite being asked to leave Freya alone, people didn't. She became a tourist attraction and was taunted by humans, when all she wanted was to climb aboard boats and lay in the sun. Local media had reported a walrus expert as saying the attention and crowds her antics were bringing were just getting too much.

“She doesn’t get any peace,” walrus expert Rune Aae told Norwegian News Agency NTB.

Authorities concluded that Freya the walrus posed a risk to humans. Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries said Freya was put down early on Sunday “based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety”.

“Through on-site observations the past week, it was made clear that the public has disregarded the current recommendation to keep a clear distance to the walrus,” the authority said. “Therefore, the Directorate has concluded, the possibility for potential harm to people was high and animal welfare was not being maintained.”

Apparently moving Freya "wasn't an option".

Newspaper Verdens Gang had a livestream of the walrus’s every move on its website and Euro News has this YouTube footage of Freya's antics if you'd like to remember her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wCF7BMRFJQ

It's devastating news, humans suck.

We thought we'd leave you with some brighter news: fur seals are making a return to Sydney Harbour. Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald for this explainer:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg2x7jaMDZf/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

And this gallery of Sydney's famous seals.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg5eJ6SuyWt/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

This article has been updated since it was first published.

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