This is the moment Freya the walrus chills out on a Walrus-class submarine after straying from her home in the Arctic in search of food.
Freya appeared on a Royal Netherlands Navy submarine in the city of Den Helder in the Dutch province of North Holland this week after first being spotted in the region in September.
The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) entered the waters in the Port of Den Helder and hopped up onto the HNLMS Dolfijn, a Walrus-class submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The animal has been sighted several times off the Dutch coast, including in Harlingen, Schiermonnikoog and Terschelling. Freya probably lost her way from Arctic waters when she was looking for food, according to the news site AD.
The Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Service (Onderzeedienst Koninklijke Marine) posted footage of Freya chilling out on the HNLMS Dolfijn on Twitter with the message: “Welcome on board shipmate!”
The clip has been viewed nearly 210,000 times.
A day later, Freya was apparently back again and the Navy posted footage of the walrus swimming alongside the vessel before another clip shows the animal apparently bathing on a semi-submerged part of the vessel.
The Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Service accompanied the footage with the message: “Good morning. We had a lovely bath and started the day fresh. Greetings Freya.”
A Navy spokesman said. “We suspect the animal chose the submarine because of its hull shape.”
According to the Navy, the walrus poses no bother because the submarine has just returned from exercises and is not being used at the moment.
The Navy said: “Was it was easy for the animal to climb onto the submarine? Unfortunately, we were unable to ask the walrus.”
The marine mammal settled in Den Helder last Monday and was then spotted near the ferry terminal on the island of Texel.
It was first seen near the island of Schiermonnikoog on 20th September. The walrus has also been spotted near Denmark and Germany.
The female walrus has been dubbed Freya after the local broadcaster Omrop Fryslan called on the public to give her a name.
Meanwhile, conservationists are calling on the public to leave the walrus alone.
According to Sander van Dijk of the Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre, it is easier to keep the public away if the animal has a name: “That also worked in Ireland when a walrus was recently spotted there. When it was given a name, the message that it needed rest came through better.”
The research centre added that Freya appears healthy and must have plenty of food at her disposal otherwise she would have left the area by now.
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