First rule of spying – don’t look like a spy.
Russia has denied any wrongdoing – and so far the beluga is refusing to talk.
Fishermen in Norway came across a Russian spy late last week, but the interloper wouldn’t reveal its mission, and with good reason: It couldn’t, because it was a beluga whale.
However, the beluga whale’s outfit gave it away. The surprisingly tame whale was wearing a harness that read “Equipment of St. Petersburg,” indicating that it was likely trained by the Russian navy to be used for special operations.
Marine biologist Prof Audun Rikardsen said the harness had a GoPro camera holder and a label sourcing it to St Petersburg. A Norwegian fisherman managed to remove it from the whale.
The tame beluga repeatedly approached Norwegian boats off Ingoya, an Arctic island about 415km (258 miles) from Murmansk, where Russia’s Northern Fleet is based. Belugas are native to Arctic waters.
Audun Rikardsen, a professor at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology at the Arctic University of Norway, told the Associated Press that it is most likely that the Russian Navy in Murmansk is involved. Russia has several military bases near Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula, in the far northwest of Russia.