Armed, military-trained dolphins are loose in the Gulf of Mexico following Katrina.
‘My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,’ he said. ‘The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?’
Apparently, the warnings from the Onion weren’t adequately heeded.
Now the question is, what will they do? Will these dolphins stay together or disperse? Will they try to assimilate into the broader Gulf cetacean society, and if they do, will they communicate their newfound knowledge to others? Will US military training help these dolphins build a future for themselves and their people, and give them the organizational skills – and force multiplication ability – to effectively counter expanded fishing and pollution threats? Or will they remain perpetual outsiders, even becoming delphinic bandits or warlords, in the manner of unexpectedly disbanded soldiers in civil wars?
(I’m hypothesizing that the latter won’t happen – that’s normally a symptom of people who have lived with the pervasive anomie of a civil war, rather than of professional soldiers suddenly on leave.)
But honestly, after thinking about this a bit – it could be worse. I would certainly trust dolphins with guns more than, say, chimpanzees; they seem less likely to engage in completely gratuitous warfare, or hurl feces. But IANAMB (I am not a marine biologist) so I may be wrong on this. For now, I’ll just say that I, for one, welcome our new cetacean overlords.