Whale escapes again

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The Independent Online
MOSCOW (AP) - A white Beluga whale that gained international celebrity last year after escaping Soviet military service for several months has escaped again.

Aydin, who is thought to have been trained to search out mines and fetch stray torpedoes, or to protect naval bases from attacks by divers, disappeared during a December storm from his home at a dolphinarium in the Black Sea village of Laspi.

The whale first fled in autumn 1991 from his tank near a classified military oceanarium in Sebastopol, where he was shipped after being captured in the Far East. After months at sea, a lean and hungry Aydin approached a docked boat in Turkey and begged for fish. Realising that he was trained, fishermen played with him and fed him.