Female walrus charms Norwegians by dozing on boats and occasionally sinking them

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A young female walrus known as Freya has charmed Norwegians for a week by lazing in the Oslo fjord’s sunshine, causing a stir in the media, and tipping a few boats.

The Norse goddess of love and beauty was honored by having the 600kg (1,300lb) sea mammal bear her name.

She’s been spotted in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden already, and she’s now decided to spend some of the summer in Norway.

Freya first acquired renown in Norway by boarding pleasure boats in the picturesque southern coastal village of Kragero, and she has continued to do so since 17 July at the capital’s harbor.

The arrival of the species, which usually inhabits the Arctic’s northernmost regions, has aroused local curiosity and garnered media attention.

The website of the newspaper Verdens Gang provides a webcast of the walrus’s every move.

Freya has been captured on camera attacking a swan and pursuing a duck, although she is most frequently seen dozing on boats that are unable to hold her weight. A walrus can sleep for as many as 20 hours per day.

Rolf Harald Jensen, a fisheries official, said to television station TV2, “It’s unfortunate about the material damage, but that’s the way it is when you have wild creatures.” He was standing next to a helpless inflatable boat that was collapsing under the weight of the animal.

The Norwegian government has opted to leave Freya alone after considering transferring her or possibly euthanizing her if she were to become a danger to the public.

She is doing well, eating, sleeping, and appears to be in good condition, according to Monday’s statement from Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries.

But it emphasized the need for caution and highly discouraged kayaking or swimming close to Freya. It stated that when [she] is resting, “[she] is not necessarily as slow and ham-fisted as one might suppose.”

“As long as you maintain a safe distance, walruses typically pose little threat to humans. However, if people disturb it and it isn’t given the necessary repose, it can feel threatened and attack.

The walrus, a species that is protected, mostly eats invertebrates including mollusks, shrimp, crabs, and tiny fish.

Adult males often weigh one ton, while females typically weigh 700 kg.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 26 July 2022. Lead Image: Freya clambers aboard a boat in Oslo fjord, Norway. Photograph: Trond Reidar Teigen/EPA.


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