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The walrus "Freya": – People should keep their distance

freya i frognerkilen

The walrus – here at Frognerkilen, Oslo

Photo: Rune Frøyland / Naturens Mangfold As

That's the clear advice on the celebrity walrus from our marine mammal scientist and veterinarian Kathrine Ryeng.

The advice is particularly relevant now that "Freya" is in the populous Oslo Fjord.

Social yes, but not with people

Walruses are known to be social animals – but that is with each other. 

"Freya is interested in eating lots of food, then sleeping and digesting the rest of the day. She has no relationship with people and can get annoyed," Kathrine said. "Freya" probably weighs something between 600 to 700 kilograms.

She is not in a hurry 

– Keep at least several meters distance, do not go into the water with her and do not touch her. In addition to the fact that she can get annoyed, there can also be transmitting of infection one way or the other. 

Kathrine thinks "Freya" is on migration looking for feed, and will stay as long as there is food for her. She's not in a hurry with other instincts as she's not sexually mature. 

Read also: "Freya" the walrus may be an environmentalist

– Move values

"Freya is from the Arctic and will find a base reminiscent of an ice floe – usually a floating pier. From there, it's a short distance into the water, where she goes from "potato sack" to acrobat in a second, Kathrine says. 

If practically possible, moving exposed, low boats can be a possibility if they are located near where the walrus stays over time. Another advice may be to turn the boat in the mooring with the bow out – it may be enough to prevent the walrus from getting up. One can also try to place an obstacle on the boat that makes it difficult for it to get up.