Freya the Walrus caught taking a nap at a salmon farm in Shetland

Three quarters of a tonne walrus named Freya was found hauled out on a salmon cage off Vementry – hundreds of miles from her Arctic home.

The large marine animal was spotted on Friday by Dougie Leask as she relaxed on the cage in the waters off Aith.

She is thought to be a juvenile female and has been named Freya. She was last seen in November on a brief visit to Seahouses harbour, in Northumberland.

PHOTO: Anne Powell

Before that she had been spotted relaxing on top of a Walrus class Dutch submarine in a naval base in North Holland.

Walruses are infrequent visitors to Shetland.

PHOTO: Dougie Leask/Cooke Aquaculture.

Why would a walrus climb onto a salmon pen? Walruses live in shallow Arctic waters with moving pack ice, rarely venturing far from the coast as they feed on the seabed. They are usually found in waters less than 80m deep with a gravelly bottom, the habitat of their preferred prey, clams and other molluscs.

Walruses prefer to haul out on sea ice rather than on land so it’s not entirely surprising that they chose the next best floating platform available

People are generally advised to stay clear of walruses if they reach the shore.

The Walrus belongs to the pinniped (fin-footed) mammals, along with the seals and sealions. But while there are many species of seal, the walrus Odobenus rosmarus is the only living member of its family, its closest relatives long extinct.

PHOTO: Dougie Leask/Cooke Aquaculture.

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