Three of the Ukrainian navy's so-called “killer dolphins,” which swam away from their handlers during training exercises earlier this month, probably left to look for mates, an expert said Tuesday, according to a report by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry denied the reports while refusing to even confirm the navy makes use of dolphins despite the frequent appearance in Ukrainian media of photographs of dolphins with military equipment strapped to them.
“Control over dolphins was quite common in the 1980s,” Yury Plyachenko, a former Soviet naval anti-sabotage officer, told RIA Novosti. “If a male dolphin saw a female dolphin during the mating season, then he would immediately set off after her. But they came back in a week or so.”
The Australian press is having fun with the story, warning its readers that “the dolphins almost certainly have pistols and/or knives strapped to their heads and possibly their fins.”