The beluga whale "Hvaldimir", which appeared in Norway four years ago equipped with a mysterious harness and led to speculation about Russian espionage, has swum south to the west coast of Sweden. According to marine biologist Sebastian Strand, the organization OneWhale suspects "hormones" or "loneliness" as the reason for its rapid removal, after the whale moved very slowly away from Norway for three years and was spotted near Oslo just a few days ago.
"We don't know why he's moving so fast at the moment," said Strand of the non-governmental organization. At the end of April 2019, the Norwegian Coast Guard spotted a tame and curious beluga whale off the coasts of the northernmost administrative district of Finnmark, approaching fishing boats and wearing a harness with a camera position with the English inscription "Equipment St. Petersburg".
No comment from Moscow
The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries speculated at the time that Hvaldimir had escaped from captivity and had been trained by the Russian Navy. Biologists managed to remove the dishes from the beluga whale for closer examination. However, the purpose and origin of the equipment is still unclear today. Moscow has never officially commented on the speculation.
Beluga whales usually live much further north, near Greenland or in the waters of the Russian or Norwegian Arctic. The Barents Sea and the North Atlantic, where the whale appeared, are strategic areas for both the Russian and Western navies.
The name of the probably 13 or 14-year-old white or beluga whale is composed of the Norwegian word for whale ("hval") and the Russian first name Vladimir. According to OneWhale Beach, which tracks the whale's movements, Hvaldimir appears healthy and well-fed by fish attracted by large Norwegian salmon farms.