A beluga (white dolphin) spotted in Nordic waters with Russian equipment and suspected of being a “spy” has reappeared off the coast of Sweden after four years.
A beluga with Russian equipment has reappeared off the coast of Sweden after a four-year absence, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday.
The dolphin was first spotted in the spring of 2019 in the Finnmark region of northern Norway, and over the next three years it slowly moved south from the northern Norwegian coast.
In recent months, however, it has suddenly picked up speed, passing the Norwegian coast and moving as far as the Swedish coast. On April 28, it was spotted off the coast of Hunnebostrand in southwestern Sweden.
The dolphin was spotted in Norway four years ago wearing a holder for an action camera and a band labeled “St. Petersburg equipment,” sparking speculation that it had been trained as a spy by the Russian Navy. Russia has not commented on the matter.
Norway nicknamed the dolphin Hvaldimir, a Russianized version of the Norwegian word for “whale” (Hval), and removed the tags.
Norwegian officials said Hvaldimir appeared to have human hands, suggesting that he may have escaped from where he was living or may have been trained.
The Barents Sea, a body of water먹튀검증 bordering northern Norway and northwestern Russia, is a geopolitical area where Western and Russian submarine movements are detected.
Belugas can grow to about 6 meters and live for 40 to 60 years. They live in the cold waters of Greenland, northern Norway, and Russia.
“We don’t know why he’s picking up the pace now,” said marine biologist Sebastian Strand of OneWhale, the organization supporting Valdimir. “He’s moving away from his natural environment very quickly, which is puzzling,” he said. “It could be a hormonal response to find a mate, or it could be loneliness,” he said, adding that belugas are a very social species and could be looking for other belugas. He also estimated that Valdimir was 13 to 14 years old, a hormonal age.
It is unlikely that Valdimir has encountered any other belugas since he was first spotted in April 2019. The closest beluga habitat to the area is the Svalbard archipelago between Norway’s northern coast and the Arctic.
He speculated that Valdimir had been foraging for wild fish near Norwegian salmon farms and appeared to be in good health.
However, the organization is concerned about Baldimir’s ability to find food in Sweden in the future and said he has recently lost weight.