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Animal Rights For Marine Mamals

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Animal Rights for Marine Mammals

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Bottlenose dolphins became part of a United States Navy program in 1959 for the purpose of conducting scientific research into their sonar and hydrodynamics in hopes of getting design ideas for submarines, ship hulls and weapons. It was discovered dolphins hear and navigate in the water by using their natural sonar, which happened to be more precise than most fabricated sonar systems. In the mid-sixties, Navy dolphins were used as mail carriers to underwater laboratories in their home of San Diego, California.

As technology and scientific discoveries floundered through time, new uses for the animals came into play. For example, dolphins were trained to protect ships, submarines, and divers from any danger. If a dolphin were to find an enemy diver in the water, it was taught to lead the diver into dangerous waters. The dolphins were also trained for search and recovery work to find objects (usually mines) embedded in the mud or sand of the seabed.

Today, in addition to the bottlenose dolphins, the Navy program includes sea lions and white beluga whales. The sea lions have excellent hearing and can dive much deeper than dolphins. They are trained for marking mines and retrieving torpedoes or practice mines, all while being more efficient than human divers. The white beluga whales dive deeper than the sea lions to recover inert torpedoes and are currently on loan from Sea World.

Although it is remarkable that these marine mammals are capable of so much, there are things the public does not know. According to classified statistics, twenty-three out of forty-three animals died while being transported from their natural habitat to foreign aquariums for training. Another thing the public does not know is in reference to a similar marine mammal program in the Soviet Union. It has been reported that Soviet dolphins were trained to do "kamikaze" missions. Explosives were supposedly strapped to their backs and they were sent

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