A walrus named Freya has stolen the hearts of a Norwegian community after flopping onto boats and engaging with crowds that come to interact with her, but her popularity has robbed her of much-needed rest and put her life in danger.
This adorable walrus loves interacting with her visitors and she soaks up all the love they bestow on her. She has become quite a local celebrity, according to Insider. However, Norwegian authorities say the 1,300-pound animal is at risk of being euthanized because she may inadvertently endanger onlookers who ignore warnings not to get too close, according to Insider.
Big story in Norway this summer is a walrus we’ve named Freya has made it to our shores and is touring the country, laying around and sinking boats pic.twitter.com/rQolsxd88b
— Wild Geerters (@steinkobbe) July 19, 2022
Freya’s love for sunbathing started attracting a lot of attention in July, after she climbed into leisure boats docked near Oslo to catch a few rays, according to Insider. Completely unaware of her weight, the friendly walrus nearly sank the vessels, giving onlookers a good performance that kept them coming back for more.
People flocked to the area to watch her put on a show as she belly flopped onto the boats and chased ducks around. Sadly, Freya’s cute demeanor is leading visitors to become increasingly careless. As adorable as she is, Freya may attack people if she feels threatened. Furthermore, according to a veterinarian, she is showing signs of stress and lack of sleep, which can make her behave more aggressively, Insider reported.
Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries issued an urgent warning Thursday, stating they have observed “negligent behavior” by guests who are defying advice to keep their distance from the animal, according to Insider.
Nadia Jdaini, the directorate’s senior communications advisor, issued a strict warning regarding the situation. “We are now probing further measures, where euthanasia can be a real alternative,” she said, according to the outlet. (RELATED: 28-Year-Old Japanese Jockey Taiki Yanagida Trampled To Death In New Zealand)
Walruses are not typically aggressive toward humans, but Freya has been overwhelmed recently. “Our biggest fear is that people could get hurt,” Jdaini said. Children have come very close to her and some visitors have tried to sunbathe with her, despite posted warning signs advocating against this behavior, according to Insider.
Jdaini is currently working with local police to maintain a safe distance between Freya and her fan club.
Those getting too close to Freya may become the reason she is put down, so hopefully her adoring fans will consider her wellbeing as well as their own, and adjust their behavior accordingly.