Russian spy whale spotted off Sweden

This beluga whale—thought to be a Russian spy animal—was first noticed off the coast of Norway in 2019 wearing a harness labeled Equipment St Petersburg and outfitted with a camera mount. It's speculated that the animal may have escaped a Russian navy holding pen. Recently, the whale, nicknamed Hvaldimir, was seen off Sweden's southwestern coast. From The Guardian:

"We don't know why he has sped up so fast right now," said Sebastian Strand, a marine biologist with the OneWhale organisation, adding that it was particularly puzzling because the whale was moving "very quickly away from his natural environment".

"It could be hormones driving him to find a mate. Or it could be loneliness, as belugas are a very social species – it could be that he's searching for other beluga whales."

Strand said the whale, believed to be 13-14 years old, is "at an age where his hormones are very high".

The closest population of belugas is located in the Svalbard archipelago, which lies midway between the northern coast of Norway and the north pole.

The whale is not believed to have seen a single other beluga since arriving in Norway in April 2019.

(Thanks, Harlow!)