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The Internet Is Outraged After Beloved Walrus Who Climbed Onto Boats In Norway Is Euthanized

The Internet Is Outraged After Beloved Walrus Who Climbed Onto Boats In Norway Is Euthanized

Unfortunately, people climbing into zoo enclosures to taunt the animals or people disturbing animals out in the wild is not new.

But we're going to say it louder for the people in the back—this behavior is one of the leading causes of these animals later being killed.

Harambe, a popular gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo, hit national headlines after he was killed over a mistake made by a human parent. The parent's three-year-old child fell into the enclosure and Harambe's engagement with the child was deemed dangerous.

The gorilla was shot and killed by a keeper as a result. The incident was captured on video by multiple zoo guests who watched the entire thing.

Harambe is just one of the more popular, well-known examples. He is far from being the only example.

Just this past weekend, a local celebrity in the Oslo Fjord in Norway was euthanized, again, not because of anything she did, but because humans would not listen to the rules.

A 1,320-pound female walrus—lovingly named Freya by the public—frequented the Fjord, specifically the small boats that were docked there. She would climb into these boats to sun bathe.

Though she did cause some damage to boats by climbing in and out of them, Freya otherwise did not cause trouble in the community.

Locals and passers-by, unfortunately, did not maintain their distance from Freya and began to move closer to her when she was sunning in boats or on rocks, so they could take selfies with her. There were also some reports of people trying to feed her and people swimming in the water near her.

Because people would not keep a safe distance from her, Freya was euthanized for public safety.

Norway's Directorate of Fisheries, Frank Bakke-Jensen, released the following statement:

"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."
"[Freya has been euthanized] based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety."

Bakke-Jensen also insisted this was the best possible decision the Fisheries team could make.

They had also considered moving Freya to a new location but determined the act was not "viable." Upon learning of her fate, the internet loudly protested the unnecessary death of a much-loved sea mammal.

Twitter especially was furious at the news and vocal against Bakke-Jensen's decision.

It might be understandable that public safety is a concern, but the internet was not convinced killing Freya was the solution.

Freya appeared in good health, which should have made her a prime candidate to move to a new location. Walrus were once an endangered species due to over hunting, but are now listed as vulnerable by conservation authorities.

But regardless of what could have been done, Freya's death is now just one more tragic example of what happens to animals when people do not follow the rules.