Weird Whale Found by Fisherman Might Be Trained by Russian Navy

April FrancisMay 01, 2019

Inspector Joergen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, who was at the scene, said the harness was branded with "equipment of St. Petersburg" and featured a mount for an action camera.

A group of Norwegian fishermen raised the alarm when a beluga whale, kitted out with a harness and camera holster, started harassing them while they worked. Fishermen became suspicious when they saw that the animal was wearing a black harness and appeared to repeatedly seek out their boats.

Prof Rikardsen said: "Belugas, like dolphins and killer whales, are quite intelligent - they are Arctic animals and quite social, they can be trained like a dog".

Video shared by an employee of Norway's Directorate of Fisheries shows authorities in the water with a Beluga whale. While that in itself might be interesting, the beluga in question was outfitted with a harness.

Audun Rikardsen, an arctic and marine biology professor at the department of arctic the Arctic University of Norway, also spoke to the Norwegian national broadcaster Russian Navy keeping whales in captivity.

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That wasn't the weirdest part, though - marine experts in Norway think that the whale might be a Russian weapon. The whale began swimming very close to the fishing boat and that was when the fishermen noticed it.

"If this whale comes from Russia - and there is are strong reasons to believe it does - then it is not Russian scientists, but rather, the navy that has done this", Martin Biuw of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway reportedly told the media. The US navy also uses the mammals for mine detection and rescuing divers.

Way back in the '80s when Russian Federation was still under the Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the military started training dolphins and other marine mammals to do their dirty work. What else is the country doing with whales or other marine animals?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union's military had a program that trained dolphins to help spot underwater weapons, The New York Post noted. While the Russian Defence Ministry denied the existence of such a programme, the same ministry published an ad in 2016, seeking three male and two female bottlenose dolphins, offering a total sum of $24,000.

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