Female Scientist Strips Naked to Tame Belugas

These extraordinary pictures show a naked woman attempting to tame two beluga whales in a unique experiment. It was deemed necessary for Russian diver Natalia Avseenko, 36, to strip for the unusual assignment as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial material like diving suits. So Natalia bravely took the plunge into the sea as the temperature in the water touched minus 1.5 centigrade. The belugas, famed for the apparent way in which their faces are able to convey expressions, seemed to like the experience, frolicking for all they were worth. The taming of the belugas happened in the Murmansk Oblast region in the far north-west of Russia at the shore of the White Sea near the polar circle at a branch of the Utrish Dophinarium. An area of the sea is bordered to stop whales and dolphins getting out and instructors tame the mammals before they are transported to dolphinariums around the world. The whales pictured are named Nilma and Matrena. Belugas have a small hump on their heads used for echo-location and it was thought that there would be more chance of striking up a rapport or communicating with them without clothes on.

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