Updated 5:31 p.m. Moscow time
SEVASTOPOL, September 12 (RIA Novosti) — The Russian Defense Ministry has assumed full administrative control over the Crimean State Oceanarium, which carries out a comprehensive combat dolphin training program, acting Sevastopol governor told RIA Novosti in an interview on Friday.
"The jurisdiction over this facility has been fully transferred to the Russian Defense Ministry," Sergei Menyailo said.
The governor added that the dolphins are not used solely for military purposes. “Four dolphins from this oceanarium, who had previously worked on a child care program were transferred to special dolphin centers. They help children in the treatment of complex diseases such as cerebral palsy, mental disorders and psychological stress,” he said.
The military dolphin training program was developed in the 1960s.
After the fall of the Soviet Union the military dolphin program was passed to the Ukrainian Navy. After Crimea rejoined Russia in March the program was returned to Russian Defense Ministry.
The Crimean facility is one of only two such combat dolphin training centers in the world, the other is run by the US Navy in San Diego.