Russian navy believed to be behind beluga whale fitted with mysterious harness

Experts are suggesting Russia is using whales for espionage after a harness-wearing beluga whale was found by Norwegian fishermen.

Marine experts believe it was trained by the Russian navy as part of a special underwater ops force, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

The harness had a mount for a camera, but one was not attached. It seemed the whale wasn't pleased to be wearing the harness as it was previously spotted trying to rub it off a ship.

A fisherman jumped into the water to remove the harness and photos of it revealed it has "Equipment St Petersberg" written on the buckle.

Norwegian Arctic University Professor Audun Rikardsen said he spoke to Russian scientists and they did not put the harness on.

"If this comes from Russia, and there is good reason to believe it does, then it is not Russian scientists but rather the navy that has done this," he told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

But the Telegraph reports the Russian navy is rubbishing the claims, calling them ridiculous.

"We're not idiots. If we were conducting reconnaissance with the help of this animal, how would we have done it? Written a mobile phone number on it to call in case something happens?" former army media officer Viktor Baranets told Russian radio station Govorit Moskva.

Baranets did admit the navy has possessed "combat dolphins". Both the Soviet Union and the United States used dolphins during the height of the cold war.

Russia announced it was looking to buy five new dolphins in 2016. Documents found at the time show it was looking for two female and three male aged between three to five years with perfect teeth and no physical impairments.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: