Beluga Whale Found With Harness May Have Escaped Russian Military Facility

A beluga whale found with a tight harness that appeared to be Russian made has raised the alarm of Norwegian officials and prompted speculation that the animal may have escaped from a Russian military facility.

Joergen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries says “Equipment St. Petersburg” is written on the harness strap, which features a mount for an action camera.

He said Monday fishermen in Arctic Norway last week reported the tame white cetacean with a tight harness swimming around. On Friday, a fisherman, aided by the Ree Wiig, jumped into the frigid water to remove the harness.

He said “people in Norway’s military have shown great interest” in the harness.

Norway’s Aftenposten daily reported that the Russian military is believed to have trained sea mammals.