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Walrus leaves polar region to snooze on Dutch submarine at naval base in North Holland

A female walrus was discovered sleeping on a Dutch submarine in a naval base in North Holland.

Walruses normally live in the polar regions – several hundred miles north. This particular animal is one of at least two of the species that have been seen far from their Arctic habitat.

Freya, as the animal has been named, is the first of her species to visit the Netherlands in 23 years.




She was spotted snoozing on a submarine in the naval port of Den Helder by Jeroen Hoekendijk, a Dutch scientist specialising in marine mammals.

She appears to be in good health, although Hoekendijk noted a raw wound in her front flippers. She is thought to have swum south, following the Danish and German coasts.

Social media users thought it was very nice of the Dutch navy not to kick the walrus off their boat.



Walruses are not just recent visitors to these southern waters. In 1456, William Caxton, the medieval chronicler and printer, recorded a walrus in the Thames.

Caxton warned that the beast’s appearance was a sign of trouble to come. Although that might have been for the walruses themselves, since they were slaughtered for their thick hide, which was made into ropes, and for their tusks, which were carved into ivory objects.