Statue of walrus Freya unveiled in Norway

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Statue of walrus Freya unveiled in Norway
Walrus expert Rune Aae and initiator Erik Holm unveil the sculpture of Freya the walrus, made by the artist Astri Tonoian, placed in Kongen Marina by Frognerkilen, Oslo, Norway, April 29, 2023, credit: NTB/Annika Byrde via Reuters

A statue of Freya, the walrus killed by the Norwegian government, was unveiled on Saturday near the place where she was killed. Walrus expert Rune Aae and initiator Erik Holm revealed the sculpture of Freya, made by the artist Astri Tonoian.

The statue was funded by an online campaign that raised 200,000 Norwegian kroner (€20,250) within a few days. 

Freya gained global attention when she was spotted bathing in Oslo Bay in the summer of 2022, attracting large crowds of spectators. She was also spotted in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and the UK before being killed in Norway. 

Two days before killing her, the Norwegian government said it would euthanize the animal if the public didn’t stay away from her, calling Freya a “persistent threat to human security.”

Norwegian biologist Rune Aae criticized the government’s decision to kill Freya, suggesting that alternative measures could have been taken, such as enforcing a blockade around her or fining those who disturbed her. 

Initiator Erik Holm said Freya’s death highlights Norway’s inability to provide adequate living space for wild animals. Holm added that the statue should “once and for all make it clear that we cannot and should not always destroy nature when it is in the way.” 

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