Russia’s military is seeking some unusual recruits to join its defense strategy in Crimea. They don’t wear uniforms or carry guns. In fact, they don’t even have arms. According to AFP news agency, Russia is looking to enlist dolphins in its Naval operations!

According to the report, the ministry is looking for two female and three male dolphins between the ages of three and five and wants them delivered to the Crimean city of Sevastopol by August 1, 2016. The ministry did not state what specific tasks the dolphins will carry out, but surprisingly, dolphins have been used in the military since the days of the Cold War.

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Both Russia and the U.S. have a long history of using dolphins and other mammals to identify submarines, mines, and suspicious underwater objects. Known as “battle dolphins,” these marine animals are trained to perform a number of naval tasks,” including patrolling open waters with detection devices, defending against mines or enemy divers, and even attack missions.

Thankfully, the U.S. Navy, which used dolphins and sea lions in the past to sweep for mines and carry out other underwater missions, announced in 2012 that the animals would be phased out and replaced by robots for such tasks. Despite the many advancements in technology, the Russian military is still using these animals.

Strangely, the Russian military is also requesting that the dolphins have perfect teeth. The reason why isn’t detailed, but the request makes just about as much sense as using dolphins for war in the first place. In the military, animals are stripped of their freedom and forced to perform unnatural behaviors, just the same as in marine parks – only in combat, these animals are put at even higher safety risks.  Let’s get one thing straight: dolphins are not military equipment! Just because we can use these animals in such ways, does not mean we should.

Lead image source: Corey.C/Flickr