The Norwegian fisheries director who ordered the destruction of a walrus in the waters around Oslo has now become the target of death threats from around the world himself, reports state broadcaster NRK. His wife has also been targeted on social media.
“I got shaky and scared when text messages and comments started pouring in with uncomfortable contents,” Hilde Sjurelv, wife of Fisheries Director Frank Bakke-Jensen, told NRK. “I don’t have anything to do with this, apart from being married to Frank.”
Sjurelv added that “it’s entirely okay to disagree, but to lodge death threats is going too far.” People from around the world who’d followed news reports through the summer about the walrus named Freya “seem to need to express themselves,” she said, “but they can draw the line at disagreeing.” She was repelled by comments on social media that she was “married (to) a killer,” and a “murderer who must die in hell.”
Bakke-Jensen ordered that Freya be put down after many weeks of frequenting local marinas and swimming areas along the coast of southern Norway. She attracted large crowds who refused to listen to pleas from local authorities to leave the walrus in peace and keep their distance. Bakke-Jensen claimed the walrus could suddenly pose a danger, not least after she’d already chased a few swimmers out of the water.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre supported Bakke-Jensen’s unpopular decision on Monday while some other politicians were questioning it. Bakke-Jensen has defended his decision to euthanize Freya on the grounds that human safety had to come first.