Norway Kills Famous Walrus Freya Because Humanity Is the Worst
Can't a big girl just live?
In deeply depressing but unsurprising news, Norwegian officials have euthanized famous walrus Freya due to concerns over public safety. The 1,320-pound female walrus became an online sensation for climbing onto (and often sinking) small boats and dinghies. As her fame grew, tourists flocked to the Oslo Fjord to catch a glimpse of Freya sunbathing on the boats.
Despite warnings from government officials, people continued to visit the walrus, who was then deemed a threat to public safety. You know, for literally minding her own beeswax and taking naps on boats. Frank Bakke-Jensen, the director general of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, released a statement saying “The decision to euthanize the walrus was made based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety,” adding “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, … Therefore, the Directorate has concluded, the possibility for potential harm to people was high and animal welfare was not being maintained.”
So in the interest of “maintaining animal welfare” they killed the animal? It’s especially galling, considering walruses are supposed to be protected species. “We have sympathies for the fact that the decision can cause a reaction from the public, but I am firm that this was the right call,” Bakke-Jensen concluded. “We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence.”
But the culprit, as always, is humanity itself. Tourists couldn’t resist crowding Freya, throwing objects at her, and attempting selfies with the walrus. So the walrus gets punished instead of the people breaking the rules and disregarding their own safety. It’s a deeply upsetting ending to Freya’s story, and a perfect encapsulation of humanity’s disregard for animals and wildlife.
Many took to social media to mourn Freya:
RIP Freya, you deserved better.
(via CNN, featured image: screencap/NBC News)
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