Whale Wearing Russian Harness Surprises Norwegian Fishermen

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You can file this story under the bizarre category.

Norwegian fishermen setting nets in the Barents Sea near the far northern island of Inga, Norway, were harassed by a white beluga whale wearing a harness.

The whale was actively seeking contact with the fishermen, pulling straps and ropes on the sides of the fishing boats, and clearly not afraid of humans.

It is believed the whale was trained for the Russian Navy, but Norwegian experts were not able to confirm this, even though the harness was marked with the words “Equipment of St Petersburg.”

The Russian government closed its marine mammal program in the 1990s, but in recent years has again been doing research on the use of marine mammals for military purposes.

In 2016, the Russian defense ministry purchased five bottle-nosed dolphins from a dolphinarium, and in 2017 the defense ministry’s own television station acknowledged that a Russian research institute in Murmansk had been training belugas to “guard entrances to naval bases” in arctic regions, “assist deep water divers and if necessary kill any strangers who enter their territory.”

You can read more about it on the South China Morning Post website.