Statue of Euthanized Freya the Walrus Unveiled in Oslo

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Statue of Freya the walrusInternationalIndiaAfricaFreya the Walrus made headlines and attracted attention across the globe. However, what initially seemed to be wholesome viral story ultimately had a grim ending.A statue of beloved Freya the walrus, who warmed people’s hearts and made headlines last year, has been unveiled at Oslo Fjord in Norway.The life-sized bronze statue shows Freya curled up on the waterfront. It was made by sculptor Astri Tonoian and was opened not far from where the 600-kilogram walrus was killed last year.Despite Freya becoming a media darling for both the local and international press and a popular magnet, drawing hundreds of Norwegians to Oslo Fjord, an inlet on the country’s southeastern coast, she was euthanized by authorities citing security issues. This happened after the walrus started to frequent the Kadettangen bathing area in Baerum, where it was in close contact with sunbathers.The walrus was seemingly unafraid of humans, unlike her peers. Dozens of snapshots and videos were taken of her getting on small boats to sunbathe. The public thronging to the fjord for the sake of Freya largely ignored the authorities’ orders to keep a clear distance from her. Ultimately, the Directorate of Fisheries made the decision to put her down, despite considering other options such as relocating Freya away from the fjord. However it cited “the extensive complexity of such an operation,” as well as, bizarrely, “a great regard for animal welfare.” “We came to the conclusion that people’s lives and health could be in danger,” fisheries director Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a press release at the time.However, the killing sparked an outcry both in Norway and abroad, and a campaign raised NOK 270,000 ($25,000) to make a statue of Freya.Crowdfunding Campaign for Statue of Killed Walrus Freya Gathers Momentum in Norway19 August 2022, 06:50 GMTThe sculptor behind the statue said that she thought the assignment was important, adding that she viewed it as “a three-dimensional lesson in history.””Not just because of Freya alone. But it was a great opportunity to talk about the general lines of how we humans relate to nature. It is more about a contribution to a symbol that can be for posterity and that can remind us how we make some decisions and how well they are justified,” Tonoian told Norwegian media.Female walruses typically weigh up to 900 kilograms. As fellow marine mammals, they are wary of humans and stay on the outer edges of Norway’s coast.


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