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Three killer commando dolphins From Ukraine on the prowl - turns out to be a hoax

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 14th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It sounds like an especially rank made-for-cable TV movie that would pop up on the SyFy Channel: Three killer commando dolphins from Ukraine are loose and on the prowl. It sounds ridiculous, but it was reported as true. Ukrainian media now denies the specious story - although the use of dolphins in the military is real and genuine.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In previous fake reports, the Ukrainian media said that the three military trained dolphins didn't return to their base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

"Originally reported to be out during a training exercise, these particular dolphins are trained in the use of special knives and firearms to kill enemy divers. The finned ones are also adept in the use of explosives to sink enemy ships," one story read.

The story also said that the dolphins were based in Soviet era cold war tactics; the U.S.S.R. trained the dolphins to attack enemies and detect underwater mines. The former Soviet Union reportedly handed over the program to the Ukrainians after its break-up.

Sounding wild and far-fetched, the story turned out to be a clever ruse.

The Ukraine's Defense Ministry has denied the reports, and has refused to confirm that its navy even has a dolphin program. The Atlantic, which originally accepted the report as more or less factual, followed up with the news that the story is a hoax, apparently started by a museum director.

The hoax has its story based in fact. Beginning in 1973, the Soviet Navy in Sebastopol trained dolphins to detect military equipment such as mines on the seabed, to attack divers, and even to carry explosives on their heads to plant on enemy ships.

After the USSR broke up and the Black Sea Fleet divided into Ukrainian and Russian fleets, the Ukrainian Navy took over the dolphin training section. The dolphins were then used for civilian goals such as working with disabled children. In 2000, the BBC reported that many of the trained dolphins, along with several sea lions, walruses, and a beluga whale, were sold to the Iranian government.

Dolphins are believed to be the world's second smartest animals, at least by human standards, with a large capacity for social cognition. 


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