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10 ways animals have served the military

By: Laura Moss on Sept. 17, 2010, 11:20 a.m.
sea lion in the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program

Photo: Petty Officer First Class Brien Aho/AP

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Leg-cuffing sea lions

Trained sea lions, part of the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program, locate and tag mines just like dolphins, but that’s not all these “Navy Seals” do — they also cuff underwater intruders. The sea lions carry a spring clamp in their mouths that can be attached to a swimmer or diver by simply pressing it against the person’s leg. In fact, the sea lions are so fast that the clamp is on before the swimmer is even aware of it. Once a person is clamped, sailors aboard ships can pull the swimmer out of the water by the rope attached to the clamp.

These specially trained sea lions, part of the Navy’s Shallow Water Intruder Detection System, patrol Navy bases and were even deployed to protect ships from terrorists in the Persian Gulf.