LOUISE MURRAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LOUISE MURRAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
US Navy California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) with animal trainer. This animal has been trained by the Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP), San Diego, USA. The trainer is instructing the sea lion to use a plastic bite-plate which can contain cameras and other equipment. The sea lion is also carrying a backpack containing a transponder to allow its handlers to locate it in open water. Tasks include detecting suspicious objects, delivering equipment to divers, locating lost objects, surveillance using an attached camera and guarding against intruders. The US Navy also trains dolphins, killer whales and beluga whales. Animals are selected from wildlife parks and trained from a young age.
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