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The female scientist who dives naked with belugas

Daily Mail Reporter  Braving sub-zero temperatures, a Russian ichthyologist has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment.

A the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade, a skilled Russian diver,  Natalia Avseenko,  dives naked with ca[tive beluga whales.  Russian marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.

The beauty of nature: Like a scene from a classic pre-Raphaelite painting, naked Natalia Avseenko swims with beluga whales in the Arctic

The beauty of nature: Like a scene from a classic pre-Raphaelite painting, naked Natalia Avseenko swims with beluga whales in the Arctic

 

Breathtaking: the scientist uses yoga techniques to hold her breath for up to ten minutes at a time ask she frolics with the whales, Nilma and Matrena

The taming of the whales happened in the Murmansk Oblast region in the far north-west of Russia at the shore of the White Sea near the Arctic Circle branch.  The Utrish Dophinarium is an area of the sea is enclosed  to stop whales and dolphins getting out,  Instructors tame the mammals before they are transported to dolphinariums around the world — a practice many animal conservationists consider cruel.

Come on in, the water's lovely: The whales wait for Natalia to take the plunge, but the sub-zero waters are enough to kill most people within five minutes

The whales wait for Natalia to take the plunge, but the sub-zero waters are enough to kill most people within five minutes

Rare space: Natalia's encounters with the whales take place in an area of sea which is enclosed to stop whales and dolphins getting out

Here’s looking at you: Belugas have a wider range of ‘facial expressions’ due to a more flexible bone structure, and it has made them a hit in aquariums around the world

 


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