Freya the walrus is having the summer we all want

Freya the walrus, basking in the sun on a dock.
Freya in Norway, doing what she does best. Image via Wild Geerters (@steinkobbe on Twitter).

Chillaxing in an Oslo fjord

Freya has made a name for herself by doing what walruses do … which is mostly sleeping. Walruses like Freya normally live in the Arctic. But this young female has been sighted in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, and she has now chosen to spend part of her summer in Norway. She was first sighted around July 17, 2022, climbing onto pleasure boats in Kragero, a small coastal town in southern Norway. Last week and as recently as Monday (July 25), she’s been basking in the sun in a fjord in Oslo, Norway’s capital, where, according to The Guardian, she’s been:

… making a splash in the media and bending a few boats.

And also capturing a few hearts and becoming a legend on social media. Check out each person’s comment, in the shared tweet below:

Okay, she’s made some waves

Freya is named for the Norse goddess of love and beauty. She – weighs in at about 1,300 pounds (600 kg). She likes to climb onto boats. And she has apparently sunk a few. She also chased a duck and killed a swan. But that’s all part of the wild life Freya likes, said Rolf Harald Jensen, a fisheries official in Norway. In a TV interview there (in which he was seen standing next to an inflatable boat that was buckling under the animal’s weight), he commented:

It’s a pity about the material damage. But that’s the way it is when you have wild animals.

The price of fame

Oh, Freya! We’re sorry that, like so many celebrities, you’ve had to learn the price of fame. ScienceNorway said last week that walruses the size of Freya need to relax for about 20 hours each day. And, since arriving in Norway in mid-July, Freya has been hounded by the paparazzi, prompting walrus expert Aae (a doctoral fellow in science education at the University of Southeastern Norway) to comment to The Norwegian News Agency last week:

She doesn’t get any peace.

Aae has been watching Freya for a long time, ScienceNorway said. Last week he said he believes it would be best:

… to block off the area in Oslo where she is located, instead of chasing her.

We trust that’s not because he wants her all to himself!

Freya the walrus, lying on a boat. There is a flag from Norway on another boat.
Walrus nicknamed Freya. Image via Twitter/ WION.

Just don’t scare her

Other experts have commented that Freya seems okay for now. Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries said yesterday:

She is doing well, feeding, resting and seems to be in good condition.

He did say people need to respect Freya’s boundaries, and not come too near her:

[She] is not necessarily as slow and ham-fisted as one might think when she is resting.

A walrus is not normally a danger to humans as long as you keep a safe distance. But if it is disturbed by humans and doesn’t get the rest it needs, it may feel threatened and attack.


Bottom line: Freya the walrus has been relaxing in Norway since mid-July 2022 and has made a splash on social media.

Via ScienceNorway

Via The Guardian

July 26, 2022

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