A white whale wearing a harness is seen off the coast of northern Norway, April 29, 2019..
(photo credit: JORGEN REE WIIG/SEA SURVEILLANCE SERVICE/REUTERS)
A white whale wearing an odd looking harness was spotted near the Norwegian fishing village of Inga last week and is now suspected of being used for Russian espionage, the Guardian reported.
The whale swam to the boats and attempted to actively engage the attention of the humans by pulling ropes from the side of the boats. The men found he was wearing a tight harness which might be used to strap-on a camera or weapon, absent in this case. "Property of St. Petersburg” was written.
Martin Biuw of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway said it’s the Russian Navy, not the Russian academy, which is likely to train whales in such a way.
The Soviet military training program for dolphins operated from the 1980s to the 1990s. Yet in 2017 Russian television aired a program announcing that the Russian navy is training beluga whales, seals and bottlenose dolphins.
Trained by the Murmansk Sea Biology Research Institute in northern Russia, the navy is interested to learn if whales can be taught to guard naval bases, assist divers, and, if needed, be trained to kill on command.
Dolphins and seals are trained for supporting missions, such as detecting mines and helping divers.
The scientists at Murmansk discovered that whales are not well suited for arctic weather missions and don’t respond as well as dolphins to training. Seals, on the other hand, excel at training because they have a good memory for vocal commands and display a high level of professionalism.
The unusual story lead to some mirth on social media with some posting fake movie titles like “License to Krill,” and “Live and Let Dive.”
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