Walrus in Oslo-fjord is euthanized

A stray walrus has since last spring emerged on different locations along the southern coast of Norway. The walrus has drawn significant attention and this has caused several hazardous situations.

Through on-site observations the past week it was made clear that the public has disregarded the current recommendation to keep a clear distance to the walrus.

The walruss Freya and the public at Kadetttangen in Oslo. Photo: © Directorate of Fisheries
The public, adults and children at Kadettangen in Oslo defy the distance recommendations and get up close and personal with the walrus. The picture was taken on Wednesday 10 August. The image has been blackened out of consideration for the individuals in the image. Photo: © Directorate of Fisheries. Free use of photos with credit.

According to veterinarian experts the walrus seemed stressed by the massive attention and the welfare of the animal was compromised.

Therefore, the Directorate has concluded, the possibility for potential harm to people was high and animal welfare was not being maintained.

Controlled effort

Based on these facts the walrus in Oslo-fjord was euthanized by The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries during a controlled effort in the early hours of Sunday local Norwegian time.

– The decision to euthanize the walrus was made based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety, says Director General of Fisheries, Mr. Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The operation was conducted in a humane way by personnel from The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.

– Highly skilled and trained personnel executed the order in conduct with current routines and regulations for euthanasia for marine mammals, says Director General Bakke-Jensen.

The Police and the Norwegian Food Authority [animal welfare authority] was notified prior to the mission.

Other options not possible

Several possible solutions to the issue have been discussed regarding the walrus’ presence in the Oslo-fjord.

– We have considered all possible solutions carefully. We concluded that we could not ensure the animals welfare through any means available, said Director General Frank Bakke-Jensen.

Oppdatert: 15.08.2022