“Killer Dolphins Escape” made headlines after a report by Russian state-run news agency Ria Novosti on Tuesday claiming dolphins trained by the Ukrainian Navy had escaped. The Atlantic, among the publications that repeated the story, issued an apology Wednesday after it was deemed a hoax.
Ria Novosti reported in October of last year that the Ukrainian Navy had renewed its Soviet program of training dolphins to target submarine military equipment and to attack enemy divers. An unnamed source in the Ukrainian defense department was cited.
Dolphins were trained for such use in the Soviet Navy, and the American Navy also trains dolphins for military use. The dolphins previously used for Soviet military uses were later retrained to work with disabled children.
The report that three of these dolphins had escaped from their training ground at Sevastopol, Ukraine, this week, however, is now considered a hoax.
It began with a fake report supposedly from Science Research Center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that was picked up by Ria Novosti, according to The Atlantic.
Ria Novosti cites “Ukrainian media” in its article about the escaped dolphins.
The Atlantic states: ”The oddest part of this story—that dolphins have regularly been used in the military—is unchanged. But the specifics turn out to be a hoax. Our apologies for the mistake. In recompense, allow me to give you this video about the history of militarized dolphins.” A History Channel video is provided.
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