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Iraq Mine-Clearing Dolphin Does A Runner

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Australian military divers yesterday questioned the effectiveness of the US Navy's mine-clearing dolphins, revealing one had disappeared for two days. The polite way to express their scepticism about the mine-clearing skills of the dolphins is to question their reliability and cost-efficiency, but one diver spoke more plainly yesterday.

"Flipper's f----ed, mate," he said.

news icon View: Full Article | Source: news.com.au

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Kismit

It's seems that dolphins really are cleverer than we take them for huh.gif

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SpaceyKC

After all that training, it

just needed some R&R! laugh.gif

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Althalus

But, fancy doing that to a poor dolphin, sending it out to look for mines.

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Bizarro

probably just aussie propaganda. im sure that this kind of thing happens all the time.

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emmy

That is one SMART dolphin!!

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Loonboy

I'm quite a supporter of animal rights and the use of animals for our own gain is always

something that I disagree with. I'm quite aware that I drink milk and eat eggs and I

also have pets. So I'm not whiter than white.

But... to use an animal for something so sickening (however useful) has got to be just

plain wrong. Next to us, chimpanzees and whales, dolphins are among the most

intelligent creatures on this planet. Should we be exploiting them?

I'm with the dolphin who went AWOL. You GO Flipper!! huh.gif

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Bizarro

i dont see this as exploiting them... more of a partnership. sure, the work is dangerous but they are probably taught to avoid the mines as much as possible- since you wouldn't want to harm a dolphin youve worked so hard training. a dolphin is much better equipped for this type of work than humans are, so why shouldn't we train them to do it? i dont see a bloodhound as being exploited, just using their abilities to complete a task that we can't do as well. i do have a problem with those Morrocan mine monkeys though- that is just evil.

despite the fact that we have trained the dolphin, it went swimming off. i think that proves that we will never take the animal out of an animal.

like you said, LB, you have pets. if we want to get down to it, by your own philosophy you shouldnt be allowed to have pets. animals actually benefit by cooperating with humans, and many of the pets we have around today are the direct result of that cooperation. we provide food and shelter and they provide services that benefit us. i think its a fair shake.

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racerette

I agree with DS,

There are a lot of animal - human partnerships which don't mean that the animal is being exploited. Ie. Seeing eye dogs? police dogs?

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Loonboy

A seeing-eye dog or a bloodhound used in hunting, or even drug-sniffer dogs used by

the police are being exploited, however slightly... but they're not in danger of being

blown to smithereens when they least expect it.

Like I said, I'm not whiter than white, but it's more of a compromise. I have dogs and

I give them the best kind of life I can. I don't send them to look for mines...

huh.gif

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Bizarro

what about search and rescue dogs? arent they in danger, working in a collapsed building or rubble? they could die when they least expect it as well... are they being exploited or does the value of their ability outweigh the risk?

i just dont see this as exploiting a dolphin because they swim so naturally and proficiently that they would hardly bear a risk of touching the mine- especially if they were trained not to. i also believe that mines are not built to explode when they bump a dolphin but rather something metal, otherwise they would be exploding left and right, would they not?

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Loonboy

I see your point, DS, but I still have my reservations about this.

Dogs sent into a situation such as a collapsed building certainly are at risk and I won't

deny that I would probably love to see one should I ever be unlucky enough to be

pinned down by rubble in an underground carpark (for example).

Maybe a dolphin would not detonate a mine (I'm not entirely well-read on the subject)

but we are using an animal in a war of our own making. Humans as a species seem to

be arrogant enough to assume that the other animals on this world are ours to use

for our own means and gains: vivisection springs to mind. But that's not what this

thread is about specifically.

So back to the subject. -> A dolphin finds a field of mines under the surface of the sea

and as a result a naval fleet is spared. Good. That's great. I'm not denying it. But is

this really the best way a twenty-first century civilisation has to find a bomb? It may

be the cheapest, but is their use conscionable?

I don't think it is.

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