Freya was in good health, shows necropsy

Freya the walrus was in good health, and died immediately upon euthanization, as stated in the post mortem report submitted by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute today.

Freya the walrus was euthanized in the Oslo fjord 14 August, after which the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) was asked to perform post mortem examinations on the animal. The post mortem was requested by the Institute of Marine Research in cooperation with the Directorate of Fisheries.

- There is no doubt that the walrus died instantly. It was a healthy animal with no significant injuries other than the damage to the skull due to being shot, says Malin Rokseth Reiten, pathologist at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

The walrus had a wound on one flipper, which was in the process of healing. There are no significant indications of what the walrus has been eating during its stay in the Oslo fjord, as the stomach was empty. All findings have been sent to the Institute of Marine Research for further assessment and research.

The walrus’ skeleton was, as an exception, transferred to the Natural History Museum in Oslo, where it will be part of the museum’s collections. According to standard procedures, animal remains are routinely destroyed after post mortem examination at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, as they will not be suitable for further use, and due to biohazard precautions. 

«NVI's role is mainly through our veterinary expertise in pathology and disease diagnostics. However, in this case, by letting the bones come to further use, we facilitate research and knowledge about walruses, and in that way we are contributing to increased knowledge in wild species," says Knut Madslien, subject manager for wildlife health at the Veterinary Institute.

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