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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Navy to use dolphins to defend Wash. base

The U.S. Navy said it will soon use specially trained dolphins and sea lions to protect a Trident submarine base in Kitsap County, Wash.

The Navy announced Wednesday the trained animals will be used to stop divers and swimmers from breaching the security of the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor starting in 2010, the Kitsap (Wash.) Sun reported. Other naval bases currently use marine mammals to discover possible intruders, the Sun said.
The Navy said the bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions to be used are capable of locating such intruders and represent the best way to enhance base security under current security requirements.
The unique metabolism of the dolphins will also allow the animals to withstand the frigid water and air temperatures in the Bangor area during the winter, a Navy analysis indicated.
The Sun reported the dolphins and sea lions to be used at Kitsap-Bangor will not be captured from the wild. Those animals chosen will be trained at the Navy's Marine Mammal Program in San Diego(@UPI).