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Navy wants to use dolphins and sea lions to protect submarines from underwater terrorists in Puget Sound

While checking the Associated Press wires this morning, I came across a story by Blaine Harden of the Washington Post about the Navy wanting to use of dolphins and sea lions to police Puget Sound waters and “nab terrorists in wetsuits.”

The Navy has about 100 trained dolphins and sea lions, most of them based in San Diego.

There is concern among animal advocates that the Puget Sound waters are at least 10 degrees cooler than Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are used to in San Diego and might harm them. There will be public hearings in March on the Navy’s plan.

In the story, Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist for the Humane Society of the United States, said dolphins, a highly social and intelligent species, should not be held captive for any reason and she objects on ethical grounds, to their being used for military purposes. “They are not reliable soldiers,” she said. “They think they are just having fun.”

A decision on whether Navy dolphins and sea lions will go to Puget Sound is expected to take at least a year, according to Harden.

You can read Blain Harden’s complete story at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/24/AR2007022401040.html

So how do you personally feel about using dolphins and sea lions to guard against and capture underwater terrorists? Is it any different than using police dogs?

Click on “Comments” below and let’s hear what you have to say about the use of intelligent wild animals for military purposes.

Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
Under: Animals in military | 2 Comments »