A walrus nicknamed Freya that attracted crowds while basking in the sun of the Oslo fjord was euthanized, Norway officials said on Sunday.
“The decision to euthanize was taken on the basis of a global evaluation of the persistent threat to human security,” the head of Norway’s Fisheries Directorate Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement.
“We carefully examined all the possible solutions. We concluded that we could not guarantee the well-being of the animal by any of the means available,” he said.
Officials had previously said they were considering euthanasia for the mammal because repeated appeals to the public to keep their distance from the young female weighing 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds) had been in vain.
Freya, whose name is a reference to the Norse goddess of beauty and love, had made headlines since July 17 when she was first spotted in the waters of the Norwegian capital.
Walruses normally live in the even more northerly latitudes of the Arctic.
Between long naps — a walrus can sleep up to 20 hours a day — Freya had been filmed chasing a duck, attacking a swan and, more often than not, dozing on boats struggling to support her bulk.
Despite repeated appeals, curious onlookers continued to approach her, sometimes with children in tow, to take photographs.
Freya had already been sighted in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden and chose to spend part of the summer in Norway.
Freya first gained notoriety in Norway by climbing onto pleasure boats in Kragero, an idyllic southern coastal village.
The walrus is a protected species that feeds mainly on invertebrates such as molluscs, shrimps, crabs, and small fish.