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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Walrus made a splash, then swam away

A 600-ton female walrus that’s become a tourist attraction along the southern Norwegian coast this summer left a marina in Oslo but is still swiming around in the local fjord. Officials from the fisheries directorate have located the walrus, and were pondering how to handle her.

The walrus, who’s been named Freya, has attracted lots of attention this summer, not least because she’s settled into marinas from Kragerø in the south to Frognerkilen in the nation’s capital. She seems to seek human companionship but has damaged piers, rafts and boats in the process.

Marine biologists have warned people to keep their distance from the walrus because she could drag swimmers, paddlers or even spectators who get too close to her into the water. “You won’t have a chance if she drags you under the water,” Per-Erik Schulze of the environmental organization Naturvernforbundet told newspaper Dagsavisen.

Walruses are protected under Norwegian law, with the fisheries directorate claiming last week that she wasn’t likely to be destroyed no matter how much damage or disruption she’s causing. The public has been warned to leave her in peace. Newspaper VG reported that she attacked a flock of swans earlier this week, while a man out rowing felt threatened by the walrus and got help to get off the water. staff



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