Is this beluga whale Russian spy? That’s the question locals were asking when it showed up in a Norwegian port city and was inspired to make friends.
The unnamed beluga whale was spotted by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries official Jorgen Ree Wiig. “The Beluga was the first thing I saw outside of the window.”
The whale had moved about 25 miles within the past week, and was quite focused on connecting with people.
Residents of Tufjord, on the Arctic island of Rolvsøya, have been able to pet the whale and interact with him. “He’s so comfortable with people that when you call him he comes right up to you,” said local Lin Sæther.
What’s even more impressive are the tricks that the friendly whale can perform. He retrieves plastic rings, leaps in the air and twirls around. When he completes a trick, he looks toward people to give him a fish as reward.
Upon closer inspection of the whale, it was discovered that he is wearing a harness capable of carrying a camera or a weapon. The harness is stamped with the words: “Equipment of St Petersburg.”
This has led Norwegian officials to speculate the whale got away from a Russian military facility headquartered in Murmansk. In response to the theory, Russian authorities have denied that it runs a sea mammal program.
Regardless, Norway’s special police security agency (PST) is still investigating where the whale came from.
Another theory against the beluga whale being a Russian spy is that the whale escaped captivity in St Petersburg, Florida. While this could be plausible, there aren’t any aquariums in that area. Plus, the distance is probably too far to travel.
Norwegian officials are asking that locals not feed the creature, as he needs to learn to eat on its own. They are also trying to put a plan together to keep him safe as he adjusts to life out in the open sea.