Whale found off Norway's coast believed to be spying for Russian Federation

Whale found off Norway's coast believed to be spying for Russian Federation

Whale found off Norway's coast believed to be spying for Russian Federation

A beluga whale with a peculiar harness spotted off of Norway's northern coast has led to speculation it may be a Russian military asset.

The harness appeared "specially made", Wiig said, and bore "mounts for GoPro cameras on each side of it", while the harness clips read "Equipment St. Petersburg".

Fishermen in waters near the small Norwegian fishing village of Inga reported last week that a white beluga whale wearing a unusual harness had begun to harass their fishing boats.

After seeing video footage of the whale, captured by Wiig, Biuw said: "It's quite clear that the whale is searching out the boat, and that it's used to being around boats".

Norway's Aftenposten newspaper have previously reported that the Russian military is believed to have trained sea mammals. "It came over to us, and as it approached, we saw that it had some sort of harness on it".

And according to marine experts, the mammal's backstory may be even stranger: They believe it was trained by the Russian military.

Russia's Northern Fleet is stationed in Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula on the coast of the Barents Sea in the far northwest of Russian Federation.

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Now, fishermen and scientists say this whale, which was reportedly nudging the vessel, might have been trained by Russia's navy.

On Friday, fisherman Joar Hesten, aided by Mr Ree Wiig, jumped into the frigid water to remove the harness.

Norwegian fishermen have found a beluga whale wearing a tight harness. "Then there were a round of cheers in the light boat when we got the first [clip off]", he added.

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.

He said the beluga is "most likely" from the "Russian Navy in Murmansk".

As for the beluga spotted last week, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries succeeded in freeing it from the harness, after which it swam away. The facility in Crimea was closed following the collapse of the Soviet Union, though unnamed reports shortly after the Russian annexation of Crimea indicated that it had reopened. In 2016, Russia's Ministry of Defense bought five bottlenose dolphins for $26,000.

According to the Mirror, Russia President Vladimir Putin has bolstered his fleet of operatives from the animal kingdom in recent years.

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