Ukraine claims military dolphins died defending their country

Four years after requesting that Russia return dolphins trained to assist in military operations, Ukrainian officials, bizarrely, now say that the dolphins are probably dead but died after refusing to follow Russian military orders.

The dolphins, which are trained to identify underwater obstacles and mines, had been kept at the Cossack Bay aquarium in Sevastopol after falling into Russian hands when Crimea was annexed back in March 2014.

Boris Babin, the Ukrainian government’s representative in Crimea, has now claimed that the dolphins had died patriotically, defending their country. He said that the dolphins refused to follow orders or eat food provided by the “Russian invaders” and that the hunger strike led to their eventual death.

Bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose dolphin

Dolphins have been used by the military mainly since the cold war, due to their extraordinary capabilities and use of echolocation.  The US navy also currently keeps dolphins in captivity for the same military purposes. 

'Military dolphins' are confined in captivity, which can cause them extreme mental and physical stress and suffer during transportation to facilities and in military operations.

WDC is working to establish a sanctuary for beluga whales held in captivity – read more.

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