Animals

Walrus takes a break – on top of a Dutch Walrus-class submarine!

What would you do if you spotted a walrus at your workplace?

It was a conundrum faced by Dutch submariners when a flippered mammal they named 'Freya' climbed on top of one of their – aptly named – Walrus-class submarines.

The Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Service – Onderzeedienst Koninklijke Marine in Dutch – tweeted a video of whiskered Freya resting aboard HNLMS Dolfijn, with the message: "Welcome on board shipmate."

Another tweet from the Onderzeedienst Koninklijke Marine translated as: "The Navy's submarines belong to the Walrus class.

"Apparently, they (Walrus-class submarines) look more like this seal species than we thought. Walrus Freya has Dolphin selected for a hug!"

Adult walruses are characterised by prominent tusks and whiskers – Freya has very small tusks so may be young – and their considerable bulk. Adult males in the Pacific can weigh more than 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds).

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.

The Walrus-class submarine HNLMS Dolfijn, Freya's temporary resting site, entered service in 1993 as the third submarine of the Walrus class, after HNLMS Walrus and HNLMS Zeeleeuw.