Campaign for walrus Freya statue reaches target within few days

Freya the walrus climbs on white boat
Freya the walrus climbs into a boat in Frognerkilen bay, Oslo, Norway July 20, 2022, credit: NTB/Trond Reidar Teigen via Reuters

An online campaign to raise money for a statue for walrus Freya in Norway has reached its target of 200,000 Norwegian kroner (€20,250) within a few days. Freya was killed on Sunday by the Norwegian government.

Freya gained global attention after she was spotted bathing in the Oslo bay, attracting large crowds eager to spot the 600-kilogram (1,300-pound) walrus. Officials said they shot and killed Freya because the public did not keep their distance even though they were asked to stay away. 

“There are so many things they (the Norwegian government) could have done. They could have enforced some blockage around her (Freya). They could have fined people that were disturbing her,” Norwegian biologist Rune Aae told The Animal Reader.

“They could maintain a website in which people could put information about the location of Freya so you could tell when she’s around,” he added. “There are so many things they could have done prior to killing.”

Freya was spotted in other European countries – Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom – but was killed in Norway.

“The shooting of Freya sends the extremely negative message that we in Norway, and especially Oslo, are not able to provide living space for wild animals,” the campaign’s organiser, Hans Erik Holm, said.

“By creating a statue for Freya, we will always remind ourselves (and future generations) that we cannot or should not always kill and remove nature when it is ‘in the way’,” Holm added.

He was amazed the target was reached so fast and is talking to “two sculptors who really want to make the statue of Freya.” The fundraiser will remain online for unexpected costs, and everything extra will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund Norway. 

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