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File photo of neutral dolphins
File photo of neutral dolphins
Image: Flickr

Ukraine’s dolphin army has joined the Russian Navy

The combat dolphin unit is based in Crimea.
Mar 27th 2014, 7:50 AM 16,189 40

YOU’D USUALLY ASSOCIATE dolphins with clever tricks and impressive stunts but did you know Ukraine had its own miniature army of combat-trained mammals?

Move over Flipper, these fellas are deadly.

The fate of the combat dolphin unit in the Crimean city of Sevastopol seemed uncertain given the recent political unrest but it has now been confirmed that the sea creatures will be drafted into the Russian Navy.

An employee told RIA Novosti that the facility – which was due to be shut down in April by Ukranian authorities – will remain open and that the unit will now shift its focus to serving the interests of the Russian fleet.

The source revealed that Ukraine had insufficient funds to develop the unit and said they were hopeful that the Russians would invest in the program:

The oceanarium’s engineers are developing new instruments for new applications to boost the operational efficiency of the dolphins underwater.

RIA Novosti says the animals are trained to patrol open water and attack or attach buoys to items of military interest, such as mines on the sea floor. They can also engage in combat with scuba divers and are trained to slip past enemy security perimeters, known as frogmen.

It isn’t the first time the animals have hit the headlines though: Just last year The Wire reported that a disgruntled employee alleged that three of them escaped into The Black Sea in the hopes of finding mates.

And they aren’t the only dolphin military unit in the world either. The Seattle Times met some similarly trained bottlenose dolphins, who were being trained by the US Navy in San Diego.

Fungie had better watch his back.

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Sarah Doran

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