The beluga white whale that went viral after it was filmed playing rugby off a Norway coast is actually a trained Russian spy that had escaped the military. The giant mammal was first reportedly spotted near northern Norway with a harness attached to his body and a label that said 'Equipment of Saint Petersburg'.
According to international media reports the whale frequently goes up to boats to ask for food and play fetch. Earlier this year in another video, the whale can be seen coming to the rescue of a clumsy traveller who had dropped her iPhone in the ocean and had lost all hopes to retrieve it. However, the beluga whale took to an initiative and brought back her phone to the surface in its mouth. The videos have sparked concern about the whale's well-being as some marine experts who had initially identified the whale as Hvaldimir, the alleged Russian spy whale, noted that the mammal is still malnourished and has not learnt to hunt. They believe that the fetching behaviour that Hvaldimir exhibited is because he was hungry and wanted foo from humans.
The Hvaldimir Foundation has been volunteering staff and resources on-site to maintain daily feeding sessions and educate the general public. The organisation has been trying to gather a panel of key players that will help develop a long-term sustainable plan for the whale. Financial resources will be determinant to the whale's future. The organisation also makes efforts to track mammal and share updates on Facebook.
The video of the giant fish returning with the ball in its mouth had become a new internet sensation and had left netizens in awe. Here are some of the reactions:
Absolutely true. And how beautifully he turns fluorescent blue when he goes underwater. Such a delightfully playful creature.— Snort of derision (@CherryColaZing) November 7, 2019