Freya the walrus, a popular attraction among visitors to Norway’s shores, was euthanized Sunday by the authorities due to safety concerns.
“The decision to euthanize the walrus was made based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety,” said Director General of Fisheries Frank Bakke-Jensen in a statement.
“We have considered all possible solutions carefully. We concluded that we could not ensure the animal’s welfare through any means available,” he added.
Noting that the authorities are aware of the backlash the decision may cause, Bakke-Jensen said “human life and safety must take precedence.”
Freya, whose name was a reference to the Norse goddess of beauty and love, had been seen in Oslo Fjord, and the authorities warned the public to avoid the walrus several times.
However, according to the Directorate of Fisheries’ previous statements, the public did not comply with the warnings.
Freya became well-known after clambering on boats to sunbathe and sometimes sinking them due to her weight of 600 kilograms (1,322 pounds). In one incident, police had to cordon off a bathing area after the walrus chased a woman into the water.