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'Killer dolphins' escape Ukranian naval base

By
GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
REX2003032551 - UMM QASR, IRAQ, March 25 (UPI) -- K Dog, a bottle nose dolphin from Commander Task Unit, leaps out of the water in front Sergeant Andrew Garrett during training near the USS Gunston Hall operating in the Arabian Gulf. mk/REX FEATURES UPI.
REX2003032551 - UMM QASR, IRAQ, March 25 (UPI) -- K Dog, a bottle nose dolphin from Commander Task Unit, leaps out of the water in front Sergeant Andrew Garrett during training near the USS Gunston Hall operating in the Arabian Gulf. mk/REX FEATURES UPI. | License Photo

Three highly trained "killer" dolphins may have escaped from a Ukrainian naval base and are on the loose looking for love.

The animals, of five operating out of a base at the Crimean sea port of Sevastopol, supposedly escaped during a training exercise last month, an expert said, according to Ukrainian media.

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Ukrainian defense officials have denied the reports -- but they have also regularly denied the existence of the dolphin program, despite photographs of the dolphins strapped into their military equipment regularly surfacing.

The program was started as part of the Soviet Navy in 1973, and handed over to the Ukrainian Naval Forces after the breakup of the USSR.

Dolphins in the U.S. Navy are trained to seek mines and retrieve objects from the seafloor. A military source told Ukrainian news site RIA the dolphins at Sevastopol are also trained to engage enemy swimmers with knives or pistols affixed to their heads.

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