Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Six dolphins from the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program have been flown halfway around the world to Croatia to aid in an explosives-detection program.
As the Marine Mammal Program website explains:
[T]he U.S. Navy has found that the biological sonar of dolphins, called echolocation, makes them uniquely effective at locating sea mines so they can be avoided or removed.
Now in Croatia, the dolphins have been living in seaside enclosure built just for them in the tourist mecca of Zaton. In fact, the dolphins themselves have become such an attraction for visitors to Zaton that Croatian police are guarding the sea mammals.
During three-week long mission, called Dolphin 2013, the dolphins will use their special skills to scout out any unexploded artillery or shells on the sea floor that were used during WWI, WWII, and the Yugoslav wars:
Once in the sea, they will locate and mark potentially dangerous objects...
Navy divers — along with their colleagues from Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia — will then photograph, identify and dispose of any objects found.
The U.S. Navy dolphins' mission ends October 18.