WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A beluga whale which was originally thought to be a Russian spy has gained worldwide popularity for retrieving a woman’s cell phone after it was dropped in the water.
- The beluga whale was found by Norwegian fishermen when it kept following them around in their boat.
- It has a mysterious harness around him with the inscription “Equipment St. Petersburg,” making experts believe that beluga escaped from a Russian naval training station in Murmansk.
A beluga whale has been hanging around the Norwegian port city of Hammerfest since April 26.
Norwegian fishermen found the beluga following them around in their boats, according to The Washington Post. They also noticed that it was wearing a harness which has the inscription “Equipment St. Petersburg.”
First reported to be a Russian spy, Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) told The Washington Post that “the whale is not a suspect in [their] investigation.”
Experts, however, believe that the whale has been trained by the Russian navy, but was able to escape. The whale shows evidence that it has “been trained under the care of humans for a good long time,” Catherine Kinsman, co-founder of the Canadian Whale Stewardship Project, said.
The whale’s strange behavior has made it a hit among the locals. White belugas are usually shy around humans, but this “spy” is acting differently. Seeming to completely adore all the attention it’s getting, the Hammerfest celebrity is allowing residents to pet, feed, and take selfies with it, according to the Business Insider.
Ina Mansika and her group of young friends wanted to see the whale and experience firsthand just how eager-to-please the beluga can be.
“We laid down on the dock to look at it and hopefully get the chance to pat it,” Ina Mansika told The Dodo. “I had forgotten to close my jacket pocket and my phone fell in the ocean. We assumed it would be gone forever, until the whale dove back down and came back a few moments later with my phone in its mouth!”
Mansika and her friends were all surprised and almost didn’t believe what they saw.
“I was super happy and thankful that I got my phone back,” Mansika added.
Although the phone has been damaged by the water, Mansika is still thankful for the whale.
Currently, Norwegian officials are trying to figure out what to do to the beluga since it might not survive in the wild. One possible option is to move the beluga to a sanctuary in Iceland, Jorgen Ree Wiig, an official at the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, told The Washington Post.
Source: The Insider