Letters / Anger and disbelief after Norwegian authorities kill Freya the walrus

This morning, Norwegian authorities confirmed they have killed the well-travelled young walrus known as Freya.

Prior to her arrival in Oslo, she has been spotted in Denmark, the Netherlands, England and, late last year, Shetland.

Surprise visitor on Westside salmon farm

Freya arrived in Oslo about a month ago and has attracted large crowds, generating concerns about public safety.

The danger was primarily created by the presence of onlookers trying to snap selfies or throwing objects at the walrus rather than any aggressive actions on her part.  Yet, rather than take actions to reduce the risk of harm to the public, such as more stringent efforts to keep the crowds back or attempting to relocate Freya, the authorities simply killed he

Perversely, Norway’s director general of fisheries, Frank Bakke-Jensen, cited Freya’s welfare in reaching this decision.  The presence of crowds was negatively impacting her, while any attempt to move her to a more suitable location could also apparently be harmful.


But we are supposed to believe that killing a young, healthy walrus was the best outcome for her welfar

The initial response I’ve seen from Shetlanders to the killing of a much-loved and rare visitor to our isles has been one of anger and disbelief.

I would support any move by the Shetland Islands Council to submit an official protest to the Norwegian authorities, which I believe would represent local opinion towards this terrible decision.

Mathew Nicolson



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