*Originally published in the Los Angeles Moment by Charles Folk*
Freyja, the final remaining killer whale on Earth, has died. Early yesterday morning in her sea enclosure located in Lofoten, Norway, the orca whale suffered cardiac arrest and perished, signifying the extinction of the species. The attending marine biologists and caretakers put out a collective statement honoring the whale.
“While Freyja was not able to reproduce and carry on her species, she lived a long and meaningful life. We hope that in her death, the world receives a parting message. This life is precious and ends for us all.”
The last known remaining orca whale, in captivity and the wild, Freyja was twenty-nine years old. However, while her death may represent the end of the orca, modern science has long held the solution to the future of the species.
Ten years ago, a team of scientists based in Norway mapped the orca genome. This news came just a few months before reports noted a dramatic decline in killer whale populations globally. While the fatal reduction of the species remains a pressing question to the scientific community, leading wildlife researcher Bjarn Morder is optimistic that we will soon see the orca return to our oceans.
“We are not far from replicating the conditions of the orca womb. We have collected enough genetic material from orcas over the years to fill our waters again. We are currently conducting tests on varieties of whale species. Trials show positive signs of orca gestation. I believe they will return in the coming years.”
The world mourns what environmentalists across the web are calling #forgiveusfreyja. Protests fill the streets in major cities across the globe, demanding governments to bring harsher environmental regulations to prevent further extinctions.
One activist, Amanda Lynn, went as far as to pour gasoline over herself, and set herself on fire on the steps of the US Supreme Court. In a letter intended as a suicide note, Lynn called the world to action.
“Freyja’s death cannot come in vain. We’ve decided this planet is ours, and yet we continue to let it down in the name of greed. The planet is dying. The death of everything is beyond my own life. In these flames, I am Freyja.”
Lynn survived the fire, suffering third and fourth-degree burns. She has been brought up on various charges, including public endangerment. She is currently having her wounds treated at a hospital near the incident.
Among the concern surrounding the event, DC elementary schools were on a field trip to the Supreme Court the same day. What was meant as an educational dive into the nation's judicial branch, resulted in a traumatic moment for educators and their students. After viewing Lynn’s suicide attempt, hundreds of children and the accompanying staff are undergoing district-mandated psychiatric evaluation.
Candlelight vigils continue tonight here in Los Angeles to honor the fallen Freyja.
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