'Killer Dolphins' Escape Ukrainian Naval Training Base To Mate; Why Does Ukraine Military Have Killer Dolphins?

By Staff Reporter on March 13, 2013 11:31 AM EDT

Dolphins
Five military-trained Ukrainian "killer" dolphins were out conducting an exercise. Only two returned. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Killer dolphins have escaped from a Ukrainian naval training base at Sevastopol, a city at the peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea.

A top secret program within a top secret department, Ukraine's Defense Ministry denies the existence of a dolphin program. That said, rumors of the highly specialized killer dolphins have been present for decades.

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The abilities of a killer dolphin vary depending on who is asked. Ukrainian insiders claim the killer dolphin is capable of attacking divers, detecting mines, and planting explosives. According to International Business Times, some dolphins are even trained to wield knives or pistols that are mounted to their heads.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian and Russian media reported that five highly trained military dolphins were deployed to perform a training exercise. However, only two of the five military trained dolphins returned to their base. Media outlets did not mention whether the three dolphins were armed.

While authorities and investigators have yet to determine why the dolphins have chosen to escape, some experts believe the dolphins might have gone to look for mates. Yury Plyachenko, a former Soviet naval trainer, told Russian state media agency RIA Novosti that dolphins often let mating get in the way of work. In fact, male dolphins are particularly vulnerable to t he charms of the opposite sex.

"If a male dolphin saw a female dolphin during the mating season, then he would immediately set off after her. But they came back in a week or so," Plyachenko said.

Despite superior athleticism and very high intellect, dolphins may not be the best soldiers.

According to the U.S. Navy, dolphins were trained to swim slowly in order to patrol an area with sonar. If a swimmer is identified, the dolphin can "tag" the enemy swimmer with echolocation in order for Navy personnel to deal with the hostile individual.

"The Navy does not now train, nor has it ever trained, its marine mammals to harm or injure humans in any fashion or to carry weapons to destroy ships," emphasized the Navy.

"Dolphins cannot discern the difference between enemy and friendly vessels, or enemy and friendly divers and swimmers."

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