Heavily armed, romance seeking dolphins have apparently not escaped from their Ukrainian handlers.
Russian news service RIA Novosti has reported that three Ukranian military dolphins have gone missing, escaping their handlers during a routine training exercise. Ukraine’s defense ministry denies that any such military dolphins exist. Apparently it’s not that strange for military dolphins to go AWOL, a former soviet naval officer told RIA Novosti. “Control over dolphins was quite common in the 1980s,” said Yury Plyachenko, “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.” It’s a setup way too good to be true, right? The dolphins the Ukrainians have would have been inherited after the breakup of the USSR, and the program was maintained for civilian purposes – like working with disabled children. Last year, RIA Novosti reported that Ukraine was once again training the dolphins for war, arming them with specialized knives and pistols to fight enemy swimmers – as well as training them for tasks like finding sea mines.
But they apparently aren’t, and no dolphins have escaped, either. According to The Atlantic, Ukranian news sources have traced the story of the escaped military dolphins to a faked report. We’re left high and dry for news about love-seeking, armed and dangerous military cetaceans on the loose. It’s a plausible story based on real circumstances – but it just didn’t happen.