Fishermen find whale 'trained by Russian military'

The Guardian noted that Soviet Russia recruited dolphins for military uses briefly in the 1980s, as did the United States in the 1950s, per the Post.

Joergen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries told the Associated Press that "people in Norway's military have shown great interest" in the whale's harness.

It was quite evident this unusually friendly white whale in Norway might be turn out to be trained by the Russian navy as part of a marine mammal special force experts in Norway suggested after recovering a harness from the whale.

Scientists expressed concern at the tightness of the strap, NRK reported, saying the whale may have been injured if the strap been on for a long period of time. "It came over to us, and as it approached, we saw that it had some sort of harness on it".

A Norwegian Director of Fisheries team member holds aloft a harness removed from a white whale encountered by Norwegian fishing boats off the country's Arctic coast. The whales were too sensitive to the cold of arctic waters and quickly became ill.

A fellow researcher from the University in Tromsø (UiT), Audun Rikardsen, says neither Norwegian nor Russian scientists would put harnesses on whales like this, and concurs the Russian military is the most probable explanation for the whale's equipment. But when the whale defied normal behaviour and continued to harass their boats, the fishermen spotted a odd harness, wrapped around the whale's body.

A Russian reserve colonel called Viktor Baranets has been interviewed by a Russian TV station talking about the whale, and he said: "if we were using this animal for spying do you really think we'd attach a mobile phone number with the message "please call this number"?"

The Russian navy has previously used trained dolphins for surveillance and other aquatic activities.

The beluga must now adapt to the wild without human food, and try find a group to swim with. "We have seen cases where other whales that have been in Russian captivity doing fine", he said.

But the military chief didn't deny the whale could have escaped from the Russian navy.

While the USA accounted for 36pc of global military expenditure past year, Russian Federation only spent 3.4pc - less than rapidly growing China, as well as Saudi Arabia, India and even France.