The real navy seals: Siberian aquatic army features seals in military gear

The real navy seals: Siberian aquatic army features seals in military gear
Seals dressed in military uniforms swim during a show marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, at an aquatic park in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, Russia.

While Russian President Vladimiar Putin was presiding over a huge military parade in Moscow on Saturday, a circus in Siberia held its own special routine to commemorate Victory Day celebrations.

Two seals - named Winnie the Pooh and Laska - who were dressed in military headgear, raised a flag and shot at targets after performing a proper salute.

Their performance coincides with the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, which was celebrated in the Russian capital with more than 16,000 soldiers, including troops from China, India, Mongolia, Serbia and several ex-Soviet states.

Winnie and Laska have been trained to swim and underwater march and carry 'rifles', according to The Daily Mail.

They have also been trained to 'dance the waltz', dive through obstacles with plastic knives in their mouths, and shoot with water guns.

Mr Evgeniy Baranov, founder of the world's first seal circus, told The Daily Mail: "The new show is a logical development of the tricks that our seals learned earlier.

"With every rehearsal they get better and better."

According to The Siberian Times, the seals live in a special aquarium cooled to 2-3 degrees Celsius in the world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal, which also contains 20 per cent of the planet's unfrozen fresh water.

Mr Baranov, who has worked with seals for over 25 years, claims seals are smarter than dolphins.

"Seals can solve logical, technical puzzles," he said.

klim@sph.com.sg

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