Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Navy sea lions
March 6, 2003 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Unleash the sea lions of War! The use of animals in war is an old story. Some of them, such as the WWI carrier pigeon Cher Ami, have become famous. The charismatic critter in the impending war in Iraq is Zachary, a 19-year-old California Sea Lion who has been trained to locate enemy frogmen. Other animal conscripts in the Gulf include chickens; the Iraqis are rumored to have kamikaze camels.
posted by SealWyf (14 comments total)

 
The navy is said to have used trained sea mammals to protect Republicans at their national convention in San Diego in 1996.

What terrific images this conjures up. (I can't even imagine a kamikaze camel.)

As for other creatures being drafted in war time, the bats of Project X-Ray come immediately to mind.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:22 AM on March 6, 2003


They should just let those poor sea lions be.

"Chickens of War" (?!) - (from above link)

"Should coalition troops invade Iraq, chickens will be pressed into service as gas-detectors.

The poultry, which otherwise would end up on Kuwaiti dinner tables, will cross the desert in cages atop Humvees driven by soldiers and marines. If the chickens keel over, troops will know to don protective gear.

The military calls it Operation Kuwaiti Field Chicken, or KFC.

United Poultry Concerns, a group promoting "the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl" says on its Web site that it is "ludicrous" that "a military capable of blowing up the world must rely on chickens."

What I want to know is: do they get to barbecue the chickens after the battles are over? It would seem the merest token of a reward for risking one's life.
posted by troutfishing at 7:46 AM on March 6, 2003


it is "ludicrous" that "a military capable of blowing up the world must rely on chickens."

Why is that "ludicrous?" If there is a simple solution to a problem, why should a complex solution be invented? Kudos to the US Military for doing something inexpensive and easy for a change.
posted by bondcliff at 7:50 AM on March 6, 2003


I vaguely recall that during WW II, the Navy, or some civilian hoping to sell the Navy on the idea, actually tried to (wait for it) teach sea gulls to perch on submarines' periscopes and crap on them!

As far as practicality goes, the experiment was pretty much a failure. As I recall the wording, they were left with nothing to show for their efforts but but "fake periscopes and incontinent sea gulls."
posted by alumshubby at 8:46 AM on March 6, 2003


Kamikaze bats? Combat-ready sea lions? Testosterone-deprived dolphins? Republicans?

It's a world gone mad, I tell ya.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 8:53 AM on March 6, 2003


Cry havoc! and let slip the chickens of war!

Palestinian terrorists recently used a kamikaze donkey. PETA didn't like it.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:56 AM on March 6, 2003


"In World War II the Soviet army trained dogs, with antitank mines strapped to their backs, to seek out Nazi tanks; but when released on the battlefield, the dogs indiscriminately aimed for Russian tanks as well."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:11 AM on March 6, 2003


PETA didn't like it.

I assume the donkey liked it even less.

the Soviet army trained dogs, with antitank mines strapped to their backs, to seek out Nazi tanks

This reminded me for some reason of one of my favorite MeFi links from way back when, about the CIA's spy cat. (Then when I went looking for it, I found out I had posted it myself.)
posted by LeLiLo at 10:09 AM on March 6, 2003


bondcliff - Hey, you misinterpreted my wry sarcasm. I think the chickens ( "desert fowl" ! ) are a good, low tech solution to the problem. I just think US troops should get to eat those chickens after the chem. weapons threat has past.
posted by troutfishing at 2:22 PM on March 6, 2003


I know have a picture of soldiers coming home with chicken feed in their boots, not sand.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:42 PM on March 6, 2003


now

pass the bird seed for this bird brain...
posted by thomcatspike at 3:57 PM on March 6, 2003


What I want to know is: do they get to barbecue the chickens after the battles are over? It would seem the merest token of a reward for risking one's life.

But would the chickens view this as a reward?
posted by SPrintF at 6:23 PM on March 6, 2003


I concur with troutfishing. Just leave us pinnipeds out of it ...
posted by walrus at 4:59 AM on March 7, 2003


I'm not sure if eating a chicken that died from chemical weapons is a good idea. If the chickens don't die, you might as well re-use them.
posted by delmoi at 5:10 AM on March 7, 2003


« Older Clinton and Dole on "60 Minutes"...  |  Lynne Cheney parody draws Whit... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments