In Norway, they caught a whale – “Russian spy” and do not know what to do with it

One beluga whale has become a problem for the whole country

When you go fishing, you always hope to catch more fish. But like the Norwegian Joar Hesten, he is lucky only once in his life – and even then not everyone. On the morning of April 2019, the man went fishing off the islands in the very north of Norway. He knows the places and the local living creatures very well: more than once he went out to sea on a fishing boat. So, when a beluga whale literally buried its oar, Yoar immediately realized that something was wrong here.

First, wild animals usually do not swim close to people. And this one did not even mind being stroked. And secondly, the body of the animal was tightly encircled by two belts.

Whether out of curiosity, or out of whaling, Yoar climbed into a wetsuit and went to help his new friend. The fisherman returned to the boat with a whole bundle of straps on which there was a camera mount. Where the beluga whale came from, we didn’t have to guess: the clasp indicated that the equipment was from St. Petersburg, “Equipment St. Petersburg “. So the Norwegian intelligence service got down to business.

According to the old European tradition, Russia was blamed for everything. Say, the animal has been trained to spy, so it flies to people. Yes, the border with our country is not far from here, our military is really experimenting with training marine mammals, and on the mount for action cameras it is written about St. Petersburg. Only now the training center for dolphins is located “slightly” to the south – in the Crimea, and St. Petersburg is not only in Russia. But, for example, in the American state of Florida – just on the Atlantic coast. And this Peter of theirs is famous … for its dolphinariums.

Isn’t that why the Norwegian foundling clings to people and brings back an object thrown into the water for him?

But the glory of the “Russian spy whale” went ahead of the facts, and the Norwegians quickly named the tailed special agent in honor of the Russian president Valdimir. And no, they did not mix up the letters, they just merged the name with the word “Vaal” – this is how the whale will be in Norwegian.

And now, when all the labels were hung, the question arose before the Norwegians: what to do with Valdimir? They are still fighting over the answer.

BELUKHU ruined an apartment question
At first, the whale could not get food for itself and was constantly drawn to people. So he was settled in the harbor near the small town of Hammerfest, while the State Fisheries Administration was writing a whole program dedicated to the observation and socialization of Valdimir.

After a couple of months, the guest settled down and began to hunt small fish himself. It was then that the Norwegian environmentalists tried to say goodbye to him. But instead of going to his native Florida, Valdimir stayed in the cold polar waters. Being a sociable whale, he could easily follow the boat and swim very close. And there you can get screwed, and get entangled in the nets, or even run into deranged tourists – then they were still there.

“I thought the story would be over in a week. But time passed, and nobody did anything for the whale, ”grumbled American screenwriter and director Regina Crosby, who was planning to make a film about Valdimir and arrived in Norway in anticipation of a happy ending.

Other activists soon joined her and the OneWhale association was born. Animal advocates argue that it is dangerous for Valdimir to live in the wild. They also opposed keeping the beluga whale in captivity. Nor did they want to help the Norwegians in any of the St. Petersburgs: Valdimir was never recognized as one of his own.

The problem was solved by the superhero of the world of marine mammals – the American activist Rick O’Burry, who repeatedly repeated: “If a whale gets into trouble, my phone rings.” He flew to Norway in July 2020. I immediately realized that the beluga whale really needed help: there was a wound on the whale – most likely from a ship. He advised to move the animal into the fjord – a deep and narrow bay with high rocky shores that Norway is famous for.

OneWhale has proposed taking an unused fjord and creating a large marine wildlife sanctuary. But the idea was still not approved by everyone. Finally, the Norwegians themselves woke up!