Was ‘Russian spy whale’ INFECTED with a disease?

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A BELUGA whale that was discovered wearing a harness in Norwegian waters may have been infected with an illness.

The tame white whale was suspected of being a spy for Russia after it was discovered by fishermen in April.

The harness it was wearing was reportedly marked ‘Equipment of St. Petersburg’, leading to suspicions the animal was being used by the country’s navy in covert operations.

And now it is suspected the whale may have been infected with a disease.

Eve Jourdain, a marine biologist working with the animal, said it appeared to be showing signs of infection recently.

“It was a tough weekend,” she told NRK.

“He was weak, had hardly eaten, had a fever and foul odours came up from his stomach”.

It is unclear how the animal could have come to be ill, having been taken care of in Norway since last month.

It is suspected the animal may have eaten something given to him by a tourist, although vets are still mystified. 

Russian beluga spy whale

SPYING: The whale was accused of being a covert operative for Russia (Pic: SG)

Russian spy whale

HARNESS: The whale was wearing a strange harness that apparently came from St Petersburg (Pic: SG)

Jourdain added: “On Saturday and Sunday he was so sick that we were afraid we’d lose him.”

“We don’t know what folks feed him, nor how clean the food or their hands are, so it’s important that they neither feed him nor pet him.”

The well-trained whale has been delighting people since its arrival in Norway, including performing tricks.

The Russian Navy has so far refused to address claims he was being used as a spy.

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