The whisker warriors are being used to track and detect underwater saboteurs and mines in the waters off the coast of Iraq.
It’s dangerous work in dangerous times, but the sea lions aren’t alone. The US Navy has also enlisted four bottle-nosed dolphins in its animal brigade. It has also raised ethical issues. As many groups say that this dangerous work should be left to soldiers in conflict, not innocent animals.
They’re being trained using force and food depredation, and they’re being deprived of everything that’s natural to them. The animals don’t care about Iraq or Saddam Hussein.
Vance has been training sea lions for years at the Vancouver Aquarium for peaceful purposes. While he doesn’t condone the animal’s military use, he does admit sea lions are fully capable.
These animals have a learning capacity, a training potential, and dive potential that no human has.
It’s not the first time animals have been used in war zones. From dogs to horses, and as long as there is conflict between humans, chances are, this won’t be the last time either. Jonathan CNN news, Vancouver.
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