Russian Navy takes over dolphin combat unit from Ukraine

Dolphins were seized in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
By Evan Bleier   |   March 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM   |   Comments

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March 26 (UPI) -- In addition to successfully annexing the Ukrainian Crimea region, Russia also recently accomplished something else.

According to a report from RIA Novosti, the Russian Navy has seized control of a unit of combat dolphins in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

The dolphins will be “preserved and redirected towards the interests of the Russian Navy.”

The combat dolphin program has existed since the 1960s, but it was going to be stopped in April. Now that Russia is in control, it sounds as if the show will go on.

"The oceanarium's engineers are developing new instruments for new applications to boost the operational efficiency of the dolphins underwater," an employee told RIA Novosti.

The dolphins, which have already been trained to patrol open water and attack buoys, will no longer have to deal with “extremely outdated equipment.”

"Our experts have developed new devices, which convert the detection of objects by the dolphins' underwater sonar to a signal on an operator's monitor," the employee said. "But the Ukrainian Navy lacked the funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be shuttered."

The program also trains sea lions.

[RIA Novosti]

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