Ukraine’s military leaders have requested that Russia return ‘its’ dolphins, which fell into Russian hands when Crimea was annexed back in March.
The dolphins, which are trained to identify underwater obstacles, have been kept at the Cossack Bay aquarium in Sevastopol. Dolphins have been used by the military mainly since the cold war, due to their extraordinary capabilities and use of echolocation. A military dolphinarium was established in Russia as long ago as June 1965, begining activities in Kazachya Bay, Sevastopol in April 1966. The US navy also currently keeps dolphins in captivity for the same military purposes.
‘Military dolphins’ are confined in captivity, which can cause them extreme mental and physical stress and, as with other dolphins kept in marine parks and dolphinariums around the world, they live shorter lives than they would in the wild.
They also suffer during transportation over thousands of miles, and often die during military operations and exercises.