Alleged 'Russian Spy' Beluga Caught On Video Returning Woman's Phone

Orcas may be the poster children for cute whales, but personally, I've always found their tooth-filled mouths kind of off-putting. Sure, their coloring is neat and baby orcas are cute, but no matter how many Free Willy clones you make, I'm not going to forget that they are kind of terrifying.

Belugas, though, belugas are adorbs.

Sure, they also have teeth, but you don't often see videos of a group attacking a family of dolphins for their dinner.

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Of course, my fondness may also stem from a toddler-hood obsession with the song "Baby Beluga."

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Recently, a very specific beluga made the news.

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Norwegian fishermen were out doing what Norwegian fishermen do when they discovered a beluga whale wandering close to their boat. It wore a harness and was unusually friendly, but wouldn't give the men the chance to try to free it.

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After getting some help from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, the beluga was freed from the harness, which bore a surprising origin.

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The harness had a mount for a GoPro camera, but no camera was found, but on the clasps was "Equipment St. Petersburg."

Immediately, the whale was dubbed a possible "Russian Spy."

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Spy or not, this beluga is unusually tame and has stuck around the area he was first found, which is unusual.

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It's not out of the question for him to have been part of a Russian military experiment, but if he's a spy, he's very bad at his job.

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Experts say that belugas are incredibly social, but usually shy around humans.

Instead, this adorable spy is swimming around the waters of the city of Hammerfest and even letting people pet him and feed him while the Norwegian government tries to decide what to do about him.

Due to how comfortable he is around humans, it's unlikely that he can survive on his own without human intervention.

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The current idea being considered is to move him to a sanctuary.

They're looking at a possible home in Iceland, about 1,250 miles away from his current location. A sanctuary would allow humans to ensure he's eating and healthy, while also protecting him from the dangers inherent to swimming around working docks and ships' propellers.

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Meanwhile, the little spy without a name is continuing to prove how lovable he is.

Ina Mansika and her friends decided to wander to the docks and see if they could see him. As they bent down to hopefully give him a pat, Ina's phone slipped out of her pocket and down into the water.

She told The Dodo:

"We assumed it would be gone forever, until the whale dove back down and came back a few moments later with my phone in its mouth!"

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Sadly, the water damaged the phone beyond repair, but it's the thought that counts.

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The harness is currently in the hands of Norway’s Police Security Service for investigation, but they made sure to inform the defector's adoring public: "The whale is not a suspect in our investigation, for now."

Phew!

h/t: The Washington Post

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