Oslo’s ‘stressed out’ celebrity walrus could be euthanized if crowds persist

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  • A famous walrus named Freya has drawn crowds as it frolics on the Oslofjord.
  • However, authorities say they may have to euthanize the animal if people continue to approach it.
  • They worry that she might pose a danger to humans and suspect that she may become stressed by people who provoke her.

A 1,300-pound walrus loved for its sunbathing antics in Oslo is now at risk of euthanasia, according to Norwegian authorities, who say she could endanger viewers who ignore warnings to stay away from her.

Freya the walrus became an internet star in July after people noticed it was loitering around leisure boats near Oslo, the Norwegian capital, nearly sinking ships as it climbed up to soak up some sun .

Videos of Freya belly jumping on boats, napping and chasing ducks have garnered her a growing online following.

However, Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries issued a stern warning to crowds gathering in Oslo to interact with her on Thursday, noting bystanders exhibited “negligent behavior” and defied advice to keep their distance from the animal.

“We are now examining other measures where euthanasia can be a viable alternative,” Nadia Jdaini, the directorate’s senior communications adviser, said in the statement.

“Our biggest fear is that people could get hurt,” added Jdaini.

The directorate said walruses do not typically pose a threat to humans, but may attack humans if they feel threatened or are not given enough rest.

Freya is “not necessarily as stocky and clumsy as one might get the impression when she is resting,” according to the organization said.

A vet has already noted that Freya isn’t getting enough rest and that experts have classified her as “stressed,” the directorate said.

The body has released about a Dozen Freya-related communications this summer like “Need rest” and “Keep your distance from the walrus!”

However, the organization said they still see children approaching Freya near the water and even instances of people trying to sunbathe with her in the fjord.

The directorate said they are also working with police to maintain safe distances around the walrus.

More about Freya the Walrus

Freya – nicknamed after the Norse goddess of beauty, fertility and war – is said to be five years old The Norwegian channel TV2.

Walruses have a life expectancy of 40 years, which means Freya is still young and may have been separated from her mother as a calf, according to TV2.

Freya the walrus climbs into a boat in Frognerkilen Bay in Oslo, Norway, July 20, 2022.

The walrus Freya boards a boat in Frognerkilen Bay.

NTB/Trond Reidar Teigen via REUTERS


It was first sighted in Norway around 2019 and has reportedly been spotted several times in the UK, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands the BBCquoted by Norweigan Broadcasting Corporation.

But it wasn’t until after she arrived in Oslo in July that authorities realized the risk of people crowding around her.

It’s rare to see a lone walrus frolicking this far south of the Arctic, where walruses typically herd.

Like Freya, another famous walrus known as Wally was documented last year climbing aboard boats and sinking them off the Irish coast. Wally appears to have more travel experience under his belt, having swum 2,500 miles up the coast of Western Europe to Spain. according to the BBC.

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