Beluga whales are said to be animals used as espionage tools by the Russian military. Photo/Reuters
MOSCOW – Many animals are used for espionage. Many countries from Russia to the United States (US) have a history of training animals to gather intelligence, from cats to dolphins.
“We’ve never come across an animal we couldn’t train,” Bob Bailey, a former animal trainer and Navy tactician, told Smithsonian magazine.
These animals are specially trained to carry out data collection with the help of installing sophisticated cameras. In addition, many animals are also trained to carry out reconnaissance actions and follow submarine tracks.
Here are 11 animals that are often used to help espionage.
1. Beluga Whale
Hvaldimir has become the most popular beluga whale as an espionage companion in recent years. It was first spotted by Norwegian fishermen in 2019 for wearing a tight camera case labeled ‘St. Petersburg’.
Norwegians nickname the beluga “Hvaldimir” – a play on the Norwegian words “whale”, hval, and “dimir”, in reference to its alleged relationship with Russia.
The whale rubs against the fishing boat, apparently trying to escape the spying equipment. However, Russia claims not to use whales as spies. Whales are intelligent animals with extraordinary sonar abilities that use sound waves to find food and identify prey and predators.