Freya, Norway's famously chill walrus, is in danger of being killed
Oslo, Norway - The attention paid to Freya, Norway's most famous walrus, is putting the animal's life at risk, as careless behavior by onlookers and a failure to follow official advice could force the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate into taking drastic action.
"We are now looking at further measures where killing may be a real alternative," the agency's senior communications adviser, Nadia Jdaini, warned on Thursday evening. She said they were on site with a patrol in the Oslo fjord to monitor the situation.
The female walrus, which weighs around 1,300 pounds, has kept the region around the Norwegian capital Oslo on its toes for weeks. Among other things, she has repeatedly climbed onto anchored boats, where she lounges for extended periods.
For many people in the region, the animal has become a summer attraction. Normally, walruses live further north in Arctic waters.
But the authorities are particularly bothered by the fact that people have hopped into the water to see Freya and have come dangerously close to her in order to take photos, sometimes with children in tow.
"We would like to again – strongly – advise the public to keep their distance where the walrus has been observed and not to swim with her," Jdaini said.
This, she said, is for their own safety as well as for animal welfare. The biggest concern is that people could be harmed. Killing the aquatic star is considered the last option.
Cover photo: via REUTERS