Yup, you read it right. A Beluga. A Russian Spy Beluga.
Norwegian fishermen have found a strange, friendly beluga whale in the Barents Sea off the northeast coast of Norway.
And while Beluga’s are natives to the Barents, the fishermen were left surprised when they noticed that the Beluga was fitted with a camera, bearing Russian Markings.
As the fishermen removed the harness form the Beluga, they noticed Russian Markings on it, as well as a camera placement position.
The Fishermen revealed that the animal approached their fishing boats and kept rubbing against them in an effort to remove the harness around the animal.
The Beluga Whale approached Norwegian fishermen near Ingoya, an Arctic island about 415km (258 miles) from Murmansk.
Precisely at Murmansk is where the Russian North Fleet is Based.
The harness strapped around the Beluga was marked with the label Equipment St. Petersburg” and had an attachment point for a GoPro camera. reports Ars Technica.
Beluga Whales and the Military
However, despite the attachment point for the GoPro, the fishermen say the Beluga did not have a camera on it when they discovered it.
Speaking to the BBC regarding the incident, Marine biologist Prof Audun Rikardsen revealed that the harness “was attached really tightly around its head, in front of its pectoral fins and it had clips”.
“A Russian colleague said they don’t do such experiments, but she knows the navy has caught belugas for some years and trained them – most likely it’s related to that,” he added.
Previously, Dmitry Glazov, the deputy head of the Beluga program at the AN Severtsov Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed to Interfax News Service that the Russian military is actively working with beluga whales. However, he revealed that it was not known whether the animals could be used for reconnaissance or intelligence operations.
“There is an institute in St. Petersburg that cooperates with the military in studying animals for applied purposes, and it works in the Cossack Bay on the Black Sea and in Murmansk,” Glazov told Interfax.
The recently ‘intercepted’ Beluga Whale may have recently escaped from the Russian Army.