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Weaponizing animals is a new low for Russian govt.

By Caton Deuso
On May 6, 2019

Well, the Russians are up to something again— whale training for the navy.

What kind of high school science project is this?

According to CBS News, Norwegian fishermen and scientists have spotted a beluga whale with a harness harassing boats off the northeastern coast of Norway within the past week. It’s reported that the Norwegian Director of Fisheries removed the harness from the whale and found where the harness was from.

The harness was labeled with a description of “Equipment of St. Petersburg.” Now don’t start thinking that it was a whale from Florida, because it wasn’t. St. Petersburg is a port city in Russia, which is connected to the Baltic Sea. It also happens to home the Leningrad Naval Base for the Russians. Hmm. Seems connected right?

Well, you’re right. It probably is.

So where did training whales start for Russia?

Interestingly enough since the Cold War-ear Russia has been trying to weaponize sea mammals for their navy.  The job of the sea mammals was to alert military forces and identify underwater weapons. It’s reported the program ran until the 1990s, but the program may be returning.

Hear me out, it may be a longshot, but what’s the difference between teaching mammals to detect weapons and teaching mammals to jump through hoops?

I know it’s a far jump, but let me explain. There are a ton of wildlife preserves and organizations that fight for the rights of animals to be just that, animals. They look for people to join them in the fight to get places like SeaWorld shut down. Something about using mammals to search for weapons in the navy seems cruel.

According to organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals “animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: in laboratories, in the food industry, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry,” they wrote on their website. This means, they have studied trends involving animals in captivity.

According to PETA orca whales can swim up to 140 miles a day but at SeaWorld are left in tanks that are too small and restrict how many miles they swim. Along with swimming restrictions, SeaWorld has had 42 orcas die on their watch. Those 42 orcas don’t count the number of stillbirths and death of calves in transportation.

Even though the whales at SeaWorld are kept under stricter circumstances, it doesn’t mean that whales should be weaponized and bothering Norwegian fisherman.

All animals should be able to live a life in their natural habitat undisturbed by the hands of humans who want to show them off. If people really want to know and see the animals or mammals, they can travel to them and look at them from a distance.

Think of it this way, if someone came into your home, practically kidnapped you and then put you behind glass in mediocre living conditions, would you be happy? Ponder that idea for a while.   

 

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