Norway

Russian “spy whale” is probably a therapy choice

The white whale, discovered in April off the coast of Finnmark, is probably a Russian therapy choice. The whale was accused of being a spy.

Probably called the whale Semion and is used for therapy for disadvantaged children in Russia, according to Fiskeribladet .

“The whale whales in Finnmark have probably escaped from a Russian therapy facility near the Norwegian border,” says Morten Vikeby, former Fiskeribladet journalist and ex-consul in Murmansk.

Fiskeribladet wrote about this whale in 2008.

At the end of April, fishermen outside Rolfsøya in Finnmark discovered a white whale swimming around with a harness. According to the fishermen, it was tame and sought contact with people. The white whale has been named Hvaldimir by the locals.

The discovery received international attention, and PST examined the harness on the whale. At the Institute of Marine Research and Norway’s Arctic University in Tromsø (UiT), it was believed that the whale could have come from the Russian Navy, which has had a tradition of using animals in its experiments.

The Directorate of Fisheries is relieved that the whale is probably not a spy.

– We have been thinking of espionage and war, but then it is just a whale that wants us humans well. It is even used to cuddle with us. Absolutely fantastic, says Inspector Jørgen Ree Wiig in the Directorate of Fisheries.

16 years ago, the white whale “Semion” was attacked by sea lions in the open and had to be taken care of by humans. In 2008, it was used at a water sports center in the White Sea, on the border between Murmansk and Karelia counties. The goal was to use the trained whale in therapy for children struggling with mental illness.

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