Conservationists are up in arms at the news that the Norwegian government has euthanised the walrus known as Freya, which had become a media sensation since setting up home in the Oslo fjord in July, and was previously sighted in Shetland.
Members of the public had flocked to see the 1,300lb mammal since she turned up in the fjord, but despite repeated warnings to give the animal space, people were still getting too close, even getting in the water to swim with the walrus.
Apparently alternative forms of action, including moving the animal, were deemed impossible, according to the government.
Fisheries director Frank Bakke-Jensen said: ‘Through on-site observations it was made clear that the public had disregarded the current recommendation to keep a clear distance to the walrus.
“Therefore, the Directorate concluded, the possibility for potential harm to people was high and animal welfare was not being maintained.
“We considered all possible solutions carefully and concluded that we could not ensure the animal's welfare through any means available. We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence.
“The operation was conducted in a humane fashion.”
Understandably, there was much anger to the news. Why did this animal have to pay the ultimate price for the actions of irresponsible humans? The case harked back to Wally the walrus that set up off Wales and later the Isles of Scilly last year, where the public were warned to give him some space and, thankfully, complied by and large, and he eventually made his way back to Iceland.
Photo credit: Dougie Leask/Cooke Aquaculture Scotland
Norway…what have you done! You had no right to murder this beautiful innocent animal.Who the hell do you think you are to decide to murder her!!Why should Freya die because idiots wouldn’t stay away after warnings! They just have to take the consequence of their stupidity then..We want to know how she was murdered..bet it was a bloody horrible,long slow death.l am so angry.You have no respect or understanding of wild animals.You kill every animal that come to close.I am Norwegian but thankfully don’t live in Norway.Your salmon industry is toxic and cruel and your oil is polluting the whole seabed.You have nothing to be proud of.Idiot people.RIP.Freya.😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡