Dolphins And Sea Lions To Protect Submarine Base

The US Navy says dolphins and sea lions will stand guard this year at a submarine base to detect any underwater swimmers who might approach the base on Hood Canal.The US Navy is keeping security details secret, but the environmental impact statement for the project said there would be fewer than 20 animals kept in heated enclosures when not on patrol in Washington state.

Marine mammals have been used as guards for years at another Trident submarine base at King’s Bay, Georgia.Navy spokesman Tom LaPuzza in San Diego told the Kitsap Sun that Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions are ready to go on patrol at Bangor.

The dolphins can find an intruder and release a beacon. Sea lions can attach a cuff to a swimmer’s leg

(source)

China Moves To Protect Pandas From Swine Flu

panda

A panda research center in northwestern China has been closed to visitors as a precaution to protect the endangered species fromcatching swine flu, state media reported on Tuesday.It is not known if pandas can catch swine flu, but there have been reports from veterinary and federal officials in the United States of cats and ferrets catching the disease.

Cold temperatures and heavy snowfall over the last week at the Shaanxi Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center in Shaanxi province have increased flu symptoms and the number of H1N1 cases among zoo employees, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.The center has stopped recruiting new volunteers and banned employees with flu symptoms from approaching the pandas, it said.

A receptionist who answered the phone at the center, and who refused to give more than her surname Zhou, said all the pandas at the center were healthy, but staff members were taking extra precautions.There have been no cases of the virus spreading to pandas, Zhou said.Xinhua said the center, one of four giant panda reserves in China, is home to 21 giant pandas.
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