Possibly as many as hundreds of thousands of alligators fromswamped alligator farms have been washed into Lake Charles,area rivers,the Gulf and other waterways, thanks to hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Now it's been discovered that armed dolphins, trained by the US military to target terrorists underwater, are missing from their pens inthe Gulf of Mexico.
Mark Townsend Houston writes in the Observer that the 36 dolphins are carrying toxic dart guns on their backs. Along with gray parrots, dolphins are considered to be among the world's most intelligent species, but it's still doubtful they could decide to?or know how to?activate the darts without a human around to push the button. The danger is that this will somehow happen by accident, meaning that boaters, swimmers and surfers need to be extra careful in the future.
Since the dolphins are tame and well-trained, the Navy expects them to be caught quickly, but since the project is classified, it won't confirm their existence, so we won't know when or whether that happens. The darts aren't meant to kill, they're meant to put a terrorist swimmer invading our shores by sea to sleep so the person can be interrogated. However, falling asleep while swimming would lead to drowning if no one was there to rescue them.
The Cetacean Intelligence Mission was launched 1989. The first dolphins in the program had small electrodes planted under their skin, and were taught spot enemy submarines. The 1973 film The Day of the Dolphin portrays such a scenario.
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