A beluga whale found in Arctic Norway with a tight harness that is believed to have links to a military facility in Russia is so tame that residents can pet the mammal on its nose.

The white whale has been frolicking in the frigid harbor of Tufjord, a hamlet near Norway’s northernmost point, and has become a local attraction. It is so comfortable with people that it swims to the dock.

Resident Linn Saether told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Tuesday the whale “is so tame that when you call it, it comes to you.”

A beluga whale seen as it swims next to a fishing boat before Norwegian fishermen removed the tight harness, swimming off the northern Norwegian coast Friday, April 26, 2019.  The harness strap which features a mount for an action camera, says
A beluga whale seen as it swims next to a fishing boat before Norwegian fishermen removed the tight harness, swimming off the northern Norwegian coast Friday, April 26, 2019. The harness strap which features a mount for an action camera, says “Equipment St. Petersburg” which has prompted speculation that the animal may have escaped from a Russian military facility. (Joergen Ree Wiig/Norwegian Direcorate of Fisheries Sea Surveillance Unit via AP)

On Friday, a fisherman removed the harness, which has a mount for a camera. It wasn’t clear why the strap was attached to the mammal or whether it was part of any Russian military activity in the region.

Norwegian fisherman observes a beluga whale swimming below his boat before the Norwegian fishermen were able to removed the tight harness, off the northern Norwegian coast Friday, April 26, 2019. (Joergen Ree Wiig/Norwegian Direcorate of Fisheries Sea Surveillance Unit via AP)
Norwegian fisherman observes a beluga whale swimming below his boat before the Norwegian fishermen were able to removed the tight harness, off the northern Norwegian coast Friday, April 26, 2019. (Joergen Ree Wiig/Norwegian Direcorate of Fisheries Sea Surveillance Unit via AP)
CORRECTING NAME TO JOAR HESTEN - Norwegian fisherman Joar Hesten, who jumped into the frigid Arctic water to cut the harness from a beluga whale off the northern Norwegian coast Friday, April 26, 2019.  The harness strap which features a mount for an action camera, says
CORRECTING NAME TO JOAR HESTEN – Norwegian fisherman Joar Hesten, who jumped into the frigid Arctic water to cut the harness from a beluga whale off the northern Norwegian coast Friday, April 26, 2019. The harness strap which features a mount for an action camera, says “Equipment St. Petersburg” which has prompted speculation that the animal may have escaped from a Russian military facility. (Joergen Ree Wiig/Norwegian Direcorate of Fisheries Sea Surveillance Unit via AP)

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