The Norwegian government killed the walrus Freya. The animal had become a summer attraction in the Oslo fjord but, according to the Norwegian government authorities, the walrus was too dangerous for the public and the authorities chose the safest option, which is to kill it.
In a statement, the head of the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate, Frank Bakke-Jensen explained: "The decision to euthanize the walrus was made on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the continuing threat to human security." According to Bakke-Jensen, the hope was that Freya would withdraw from the more populated areas, but she kept getting closer and closer to the people, who did nothing to avoid it, quite the contrary.
It was also thought about moving the animal but the solution seemed too complicated and not without risks. According to local media, a fundraiser by animal welfare organizations would have started to erect a statue that commemorates the animal, all excess funds will eventually be donated to the WWF.
The Directorate of Fisheries has been evaluating the option for some time. Over the past week he had observed several potentially dangerous situations in the Kaditangen seaside area, including throwing objects at the walrus.
Most Pacific walruses spend the summer north of the Bering Strait, in the Chukchi Sea, along the northern shores of Eastern Siberia, around Wrangel Island, in the Beaufort Sea, along the northern coast of Alaska , and in the waters between these localities.
Fewer males spend the summer in the Anadyr Gulf, on the southern shores of the Chukci Peninsula, and in Bristol Bay, along the southern coast of Alaska, west of the Alaska Peninsula. In the spring and autumn they congregate in the waters of the Bering Strait, coming from both the western coasts of Alaska and the Gulf of Anadyr.
They overwinter in the Bering Sea, along the eastern coasts of Siberia south of the northern part of Kamchatka and along the southern coasts of Alaska. A 28,000-year-old fossil specimen has been found on the bottom of the San Francisco Bay, indicating that during the last glacial period this species also went much further south than today.
The much rarer Atlantic walruses are found in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Svalbard and the western part of the Russian Arctic. On the basis of their geographical distribution and their movements, they have been divided into eight subpopulations, five in the west of Greenland and three in the east.
In the past, the Atlantic walrus went as far as Cape Cod and gathered in large numbers in the Gulf of San Lorenzo. In April 2006, Canadian Endangered Species Legislation declared the walrus populations of the Northwest Atlantic, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador as missing from Canada.
The Laptev subspecies is confined all year round to the central and western regions of the Laptev Sea, the easternmost regions of the Kara Sea and the westernmost regions of the Eastern Siberian Sea. The current population is estimated at 5,000-10,000 specimens. The walrus's poor underwater skills force this animal to depend on shallow water to reach its favorite benthic prey.