A beluga whale that some believe was trained as a Russian spy does not seem in a hurry to leave the waters off Norway.
Fishermen off the coast of Norway found the whale last week with a suspicious harness and a camera mount attached to it. The whale was tame and allowed humans to touch it. Days later, the whale is still hanging around, seemingly with no plans to head back to where it came from — which some suspect is a Russian facility where mammals are trained to eavesdrop.
“The whale was really friendly and came up to us and started opening its mouth, and just checking us out,” Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries official Jorgen Ree Wiig told NBC News. “We were trying to talk to it.”
Wiig added that it’s “really untypical” for a whale to seek attention from humans as this one is doing.
Some experts think the whale might be a trained Russian asset. One of the clues to that theory was “Equipment St Petersburg” emblazoned on the harness.
Wiig told NBC the whale might also be from a shuttered facility in Siberia that used to trap whales and then sell them.