By Linda Lombardi | vetstreet.com
Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and an expert dolphin trainer.It is impossible these days to turn on the national news without hearing an update on the conflict in Crimea. This week, a story that involves animals caught our attention. Now that Russia has annexed Crimea, it has reportedly also seized dolphins that were trained for the Ukrainian military.
The idea of dolphin soldiers may sound like something from a James Bond movie, but it's real - and not just in Crimea. The United States Navy has long had a marine mammal training program. In fact, the Ukrainian dolphins and the U.S. Navy dolphins are trained to do essentially the same job: use their echolocation abilities to find things underwater, such as land mines and scuba divers.
Giving this story an even more 007-like twist are rumors that the Ukrainian dolphins were trained to carry weapons and attack enemy scuba divers. (The U.S. Navy strenuously denies such rumors about its own dolphins: "The Navy does not now train, nor has it ever trained,Read More »from Military Dolphins Trained to Search -- and Attack?