It sounds inhumane, but it’s actually very human

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Zella had a fantastic day at Titchfield Haven and wonders what other local gems she's overlooked      Picture: Gary Taw

ZELLA COMPTON: Looking afresh at our beautiful spot in the world

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It’s like something out of the very worst James Bond films.

You know, the ones with Roger Moore that got just a little bit ridiculous.

But it appears that Ukraine really did have a pod of trained combat dolphins, which would swim out silently into the Red Sea to plant bombs and attack frogmen.

These dolphins have been making the news not just because, let’s face it, they’re a pod of dolphins trained to kill, but because since the Russians annexed Crimea, the dolphins have switched sides.

The rotters!

They’d do anything for half a bucket of mackerel and the chance to wear a laser on their heads, Austin Powers-style.

There are a lot of spoof new websites out there, so when I first heard of combat dolphins – and after I’d spluttered out quite a bit of my coffee over my desk – I immediately tried to find out if I was being gullible.

According to The Telegraph ‘the programme is shrouded in myth, but the mammals are believed to have been trained to kill frogmen with special harpoons or knives fitted to their backs, or drag them to the surface to be captured.

‘They were also reported to be fitted with packets of explosives and trained to carry out suicide attacks against enemy vessels, using their natural sonar to distinguish Soviet submarines from potential targets.’

This is as disturbing as it is ridiculous.

I was talking to a friend of mine about dolphins just last week.

He said he swam with a group of dolphins in captivity and it was a horrible experience.

He told me he knew they should have been free to swim where they liked and, when he had the opportunity to swim with them in the Canary Islands, it was obvious where they should be.

The very idea of using such creatures as weapons of war is abhorrent.

At first it’s just laughable, but who are we to teach dolphins – who are better-known for saving swimmers in trouble or under attack by sharks – to maim, kill and injure?

I’d say it was inhumane, but unfortunately it’s very human.