A hefty and charismatic walrus named Freya is winning ardent fans and her share of haters after taking up residence in Norway harbors and hauling her 1,500-pound self up to lounge on boats.
This has been a problem for boats that are “not walrus-worthy,” as German broadcaster Deutsche Welle put it in a video shot back in June. The video highlighted some of Freya’s finer moments in the town of Kragerø, where she spent some time earlier this summer. Two boat owners told the news outlet that they wanted Freya gone.
Many people, however, have had the exact opposite reaction to Freya’s antics and have flocked to the harbor to see the tusked icon in action. Unfortunately, both forms of attention have been stressful and overwhelming for her. More recently, she’s been hanging around Oslo, where the crowds are just too much.
“She doesn’t get any peace,” walrus expert Rune Aae told Norwegian News Agency NTB.
Aae, a researcher at the University of South-Eastern Norway, said he observed TV news crews getting too close to Freya in their boats, hedging her in so that she couldn’t get away. Additionally, harbor officials have been trailing her and spraying her with a hose to keep her off of boats.
“She needs to relax for up to 20 hours,” said Aae. “When she is constantly stressed out by people and their presence, it is not good for her.”
Aae said that the area around Freya should be cordoned off to keep people away from her.
Meanwhile, Freya also continues to pick up fans from afar, with many people celebrating and rooting for her on social media.