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Thread: Article: naked female scientist tries to tame belugas in the freezing Arctic

  1. #1

    Article: naked female scientist tries to tame belugas in the freezing Arctic

    This is from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...es-arctic.html

    Please click on the link to see the rest of the amazing photos!


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    Braving sub-zero temperatures, she has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment.

    Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.

    The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade.



    Belugas are famed for the way in which their faces are able to convey human-like expressions. Certainly Matrena and Nilma seemed to enjoy frolicking with Natalia.

    The taming of the whales happened in the Murmansk Oblast region in the far north-west of Russia at the shore of the White Sea near the Arctic Circle branch of the Utrish Dophinarium.

    An area of the sea is enclosed to stop whales and dolphins getting out and instructors tame the mammals before they are transported to dolphinariums around the world — a practice many animal conservationists consider cruel.

    Belugas have a small hump on their heads used for echo-location and it was thought that there would be more chance of striking up a rapport with them without clothes as a barrier.



    The average human could die if left in sub-zero temperature sea water for just five minutes.

    However, Natalia is a yoga expert and used meditation techniques to hold her breath and stay under water for an incredible ten minutes and 40 seconds.

    There are around 100,000 belugas in the wild.

    The first to be held in captivity was shown at Barnum's Museum in New York in 1861, and there are belugas in aquariums and sea life parks across Europe, North America and Asia.

    Their large range of 'facial expressions' comes from them having a more flexible bone structure than other whales.
    Certainly these two had a big smile for the naked Natalia.



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  2. #2
    Suddenly, swimming in an alpine lake does not seem so bad... However, not so keen on them being "tamed" for a dolphinarium.

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  3. #3
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    I recall when this story came out a couple years ago, but I never saw any reports saying it was to tame them. I only saw that she was trying to prove they would be more likely to interact with humans if no diving suit was involved.

    But now I can't imagine any other reason she'd want to prove that.

    Pfft. Humanity.

    VERY impressive dive, though.

  4. #4
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    Yeah I saw the second photo a while back with an article. Pretty amazing stuff. I was in 10 degree water today, and it was cold enough my muscles seized.

  5. #5
    An area of the sea is enclosed to stop whales and dolphins getting out and instructors tame the mammals before they are transported to dolphinariums around the world — a practice many animal conservationists consider cruel.

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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    ^^ the only fitting response to that article, really.

  7. #7
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    I love how many articles just conveniently left that part out. I'm sure they didn't want the comments. Disgusting. GAH. It blows my mind that it is the very people who study these amazing animals, and know how intelligent they are, their pod structures, etc., can still think 'oh let's take them and tank them.'

  8. #8
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepblue View Post
    It blows my mind that it is the very people who study these amazing animals, and know how intelligent they are, their pod structures, etc., can still think 'oh let's take them and tank them.'
    Well, it was not so long a time ago that people thought it was perfectly fine to have other humans as slaves.
    And the thinking of being superior to other ethnicities, or people of a different faith, are still prevalent today.

    So it might take a while before some empathy is shown to another species, even one that is a close relative.

  9. #9
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    And there are still people who think it's perfectly all right to have slaves. All of that madness- racism, sexism, speciesism, is like a kind of insanity. There are biologists fighting for these animals rights to a life outside of captivity, and people with the same education, fighting to incarcerate the animals. And yes, the evolution of thinking is slow. It's esp mad when you think of how all the people hurt or killed by Tillikum all thought they knew better than the last.

    I don't care how much psychology of it I understand, I don't care how they justify it, it is always mind blowing in the sense that I want to shake sense into them. Too bad it isn't that easy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod MerAnthony's Avatar
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    I would prefer the warmer waters. I don't think I could swim in water that cold.
    Be Happy Swim Free

  11. #11
    Brrr. My gonads would withdraw into my abdomen and I'd never see them again!
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  12. #12
    I definitely would find it cool to swim with the animals that we slightly imitate, but I definitely don't want to tank them. I like leaving stuff relatively as I left. By relatively, I mean that I tend to draw in the sand underwater, but I don't leave stuff.

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