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Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Humpback whales in Alaska

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

We are excited to announce backing for two ground-breaking research projects to assess the little...
Amazon River dolphin (Boto)

River dolphins observed playing with anaconda

Researchers in Bolivia recorded an unusual interaction between local rivers dolphins and an anaconda snake...
Common bottlenose dolphin

Dolphin pens identified at Russian naval base

Analysis of satellite imagery suggests that Russia may be using military dolphins at its naval...

Captured beluga whales forced into military service

According to media reports from Russia, captured beluga whales are to be used to guard naval bases, assist military divers and help kill enemy intruders. The move comes as President Putin attempts to boost Russia’s influence in the Arctic.

The reports claim that the beluga’s highly sensitive sonar capability made them potentially suitable for guarding the waters around the entrances to naval facilities. President Putin has re-opened old Soviet military bases in the Arctic in an attempt to claims the right to exploit vast energy resources in the area.

Russian and US armed forces have previously been involved in developing programmes to train seals and dolphins for military service, detecting underwater mines and training to keep enemy swimmers away from warships. However, in 2012, the US military said that it would end its training programme within five years.

Whales and dolphins used for military means are often captured and removed from their family pod. They are then held in captivity unable to travel the distances that they would in the wild each day. Many die from infections, gastric impaction (swallowing a foreign object), pneumonia, spinal fractures or drowning.