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Life-size sculpture of euthanized walrus unveiled in Norway

HELSINKI (AP) — A walrus that became a global celebrity last year after it was seen frolicking and basking in a Oslo fjord before it was euthanized by the authorities has been honored with a bronze sculpture in Norway.

The life-size sculpture by Norwegian artist Astri Tonoian was unveiled Saturday at the Oslo marina not far from the place where the actual 600-kilogram (1,300-pound) mammal was seen resting and relaxing during the summer of 2022.

The walrus, named Freya, quickly become a popular attraction among Oslo residents but Norwegian authorities later made a decision to euthanize it — causing public outrage — because they said people hadn’t followed recommendations to keep a safe distance away from the massive animal.

Norwegian news agency NTB said a crowdfunding campaign was kicked off last fall to finance the sculpture. The private initiative managed to gather about 270,000 Norwegian kroner ($25,000) by October, NTB said.