‘Russia-linked’ whale off Norway staying close to humans

‘Russia-linked’ whale off Norway staying close to humans

A beluga whale found in Arctic Norway wearing a harness that suggests links to Russia appears to be enjoying staying near humans.

Joergen Ree Wiig, of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, said “it was the first thing I saw” when looking out of his office window in Hammerfest, a harbour near Norway’s northernmost point.

Norwegian fisherman Joar Hesten with the whale (Joergen Ree Wiig/Norwegian Direcorate of Fisheries Sea Surveillance Unit via AP)
Norwegian fisherman Joar Hesten with the whale (Joergen Ree Wiig/Norwegian Direcorate of Fisheries Sea Surveillance Unit via AP)

He said: “I thought I was dreaming.”

The tame whale was first spotted last week wearing a tight harness with a camera mount and “equipment St Petersburg” written on the strap.

It is still unclear why the strap was attached to the mammal or whether it was part of any Russian military activity in the region.

Linn Saether with the beluga whale (Linn Saether via AP)
Linn Saether with the beluga whale (Linn Saether via AP)

Residents have been able to pet the mammal on its nose in recent days.

- Press Association

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