Fan-favorite walrus put down in Norway

Tor Erik Schrøder/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

Freya, a 1,300-pound walrus that delighted onlookers in Oslo, Norway, this summer, was euthanized by authorities on Sunday. The country’s Directorate of Fisheries said the decision was “based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety” presented by Freya, and came after ruling out all other options.

The irony is, it was humans who may have posed the biggest threat to Freya. The walrus drew crowds of spectators in recent weeks as she hopped up on boats (and occasionally sank them) and sunbathed on the piers of the Oslo Fjord. Authorities warned people to leave her alone out of concern for their safety, but they didn’t listen—continuing to swim alongside her and taking pictures at close range.

Why was Freya such a sensation? Not only was she a magnificent animal (named after the Norse goddess of beauty and love), but also walruses are rarely seen in this part of Norway. The last known sighting of a walrus this far south in the North Sea was nearly 10 years ago, CNN notes.

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