The Royal Netherlands Navy really does have a Walrus-class submarine.
Officials have been documenting the escapades of a female walrus that has been hanging out around — and on — one of its aptly-named mighty marine vessels.
“The Navy’s submarines belong to the Walrus class,” the Navy’s official Twitter account posted. “Apparently they look more like this seal species than we thought.”
De onderzeeboten van de marine behoren tot de Walrusklasse. Blijkbaar lijken ze meer op deze robbensoort dan wij dachten. Walrus Freya heeft https://t.co/JJ5CCX3Kc5. Dolfijn uitgezocht voor een knuffel! #twinning #friendsforever #walrus #freya #denhelder pic.twitter.com/bIFpele7ed— Koninklijke Marine (@kon_marine) October 26, 2021
They have named their new recruit Freya.
And she certainly has made herself at home, napping atop — and lounging around — Hr. Ms. Dolfijn in Den Helder port in north Holland.
Goedemorgen. Daar zijn we weer na een lang weekend op stap geweest te zijn. Gezellig zo met de hele bemanning aan boord🥰— Onderzeedienst Koninklijke Marine (@ozd_czsk) November 2, 2021
Nu eerst een tukkie 💤😴#Freya#koninklijkemarine⚓️#onderzeedienst🐬🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/75xDdy9kCi
Normally, the Arctic mammal lives hundreds of kilometres north in more polar regions, but this one is a member of a species that has been spotted farther south before.
For example, earlier this year, a walrus was caught on camera hanging around the Irish coast.
But this is the first time a wayward walrus has been seen in the Netherlands in 23 years.
Jeroen Hoekendijk, a Dutch scientist specializing in marine mammals, first spotted the mammal and noted a wound on a front flipper. But otherwise, the walrus appears to be in good health.
And, she really is running the place now.
Freya is being photographed day after day in late October and into November around the sub.
“Good morning,” the submarine service tweeted, along with a video of Freya splashing around the sub. “We had a lovely bath and started the day fresh.”
It’s not entirely clear why she is so far south, but there’s some speculation climate change is affecting normal behaviour of Arctic animals.
And, crews certainly have been giving her space — and enjoying the unusual visitor.
Nog eentje dan. 🥰 pic.twitter.com/FMskfbMIKp— Onderzeedienst Koninklijke Marine (@ozd_czsk) November 2, 2021
Marine chaplain Fred Omvlee has been documenting tthe view — and correcting himself, “Lady at the flag.”
‘Jongens bij de vlag’ pic.twitter.com/Drgq3hnAp7— Fred Omvlee (@fromvlee) November 2, 2021
And when you have a visitor like this, there’s always time for a selfie.