There are obvious dangers for a mine-hunting dolphin, and some people aren’t too happy about this idea.
The U.S. Navy wants to use underwater drones to locate mines and help save lives, but until that day comes, they say mine-hunting dolphins are the next best thing.
Animal rights activists have already voiced their disapproval.
For hunters, it’s hard to side with an animal rights activists on anything because they are the same people who want to abolish hunting. This particular case might be different.
Some people might argue that using a mine-hunting dolphin to save a human’s life is worth it, and will be worth it every time, because no animal’s life is more valuable than a human’s. If a dolphin can be used to save a life… use it.
Others might be inclined to say that using a dolphin has every right to live freely and never be put in such a dangerous situation.
Jim Anthony, an Oahu resident says, “One if the questions you should be asking –each, and every one of you is — ‘what is your moral responsibility to this particular animal?'”
Cathy Goeggel of Animal Rights Hawaii is “particularly concerned about the use of the anti-foraging device which is cruel, and could result in a dolphin’s death due to starvation, or/and dehydration.”
Despite these opposing views to use mine-hunting dolphins, U.S. Navy board member Mark Xitco says that “for certain types of anti-invasion mines, the dolphins are the best, and in some cases, the only way of detecting some of these threats.”
He also claims there have been no animal casualties during real operations.
Trenton Yasui, Acting Invertebrates Aquatic Specialist for the state agriculture department, adds that “The program does have a good track record as indicated by Dr, Xitco. Over the years, with over a million free water releases, they have only had a dozen escapes and those were in the early years of the program.”
In the end, the board gave the approval.
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