An alleged Russian spy whale is in Sweden — and danger. Here’s why his tale matters

Hvaldimir, a beluga whale believed to be a former Russian spy, has surfaced in Sweden, raising concerns for his safety and well-being.

Background: The whale, named Hvaldimir, was first spotted by fishermen in 2019 off the coast of Norway wearing a harness labeled “Equipment St. Petersburg,” leading to suspicions of its military training.
* Hvaldimir has been living alone for the past four years and relies on humans for social interaction.

Current situation: Hvaldimir’s recent journey to Sweden has put him in greater danger due to the country’s increased boat traffic and fewer fish availability.
* The nonprofit organization, OneWhale, is working with Swedish authorities to protect him, even closing a bridge to limit public access.

Future plans: OneWhale’s ultimate goal is to create a 500-acre marine reserve in northern Norway to rehabilitate Hvaldimir and release him into a wild population of beluga whales.
* The organization believes Hvaldimir’s story can change the lives of other whales and serve as a global symbol of compassion between humans and animals.

View original article on NPR

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