Animals

Freya the walrus spends third day on Dutch submarine

She has spent the last few days "eating, bathing, sleeping on the aft deck" of HNLMS Dolfijn, the aptly-named Walrus-class vessel.

A lost walrus named Freya, who's gaining admirers on social media, has spent a third day relaxing on a Dutch submarine.

She is reportedly the first walrus to be sighted off the Dutch coast in 23 years and is thought to have swum down from her home in the Arctic, through Denmark and Germany, before arriving in the Netherlands.

The flippered mammal has been "eating, bathing, sleeping on the aft deck" of the aptly-named Walrus-class submarine HNLMS Dolfijn, the Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Service tweeted.

"Day-3. Something structural is beginning to emerge here," the service joked with a photo of Freya snuggled up on the boat's deck.

The submarine service added that Freya "goes out regularly" from her resting spot at Den Helder base, before coming back a few hours later – her trip out believed to be for her lunch.

It is thought the female walrus may have been in Dutch waters for at least two months, after several sightings in that time, and experts think she may have got lost looking for food and ended up on top of the submarine.

Adult walruses are characterised by prominent tusks and whiskers – Freya has very small tusks so may be young – and their considerable bulk.

Fully-grown Pacific male walruses can even weigh more than 2,000 kilos, while Atlantic walruses tend to be smaller.

They are relatively long-lived, social animals who live mostly in shallow waters above the continental shelves and they are considered to be a "keystone species" in the Arctic marine regions.

Freya, who is said to be in good health, arrived at HNLMS Dolfijn on Tuesday and since then, the Dutch submarine service has been regularly sharing pictures and videos of her visit.

On Thursday, they posted images of the walrus catching some sunrays while relaxing on the submarine's deck.

HNLMS Dolfijn entered service in 1993 as the third submarine of the Dutch Navy's Walrus-class, after HNLMS Walrus and HNLMS Zeeleeuw.