Adventure

Retired Navy Seal Dies at National Zoo

Animal was a Cold War vet

A retired U.S. Navy seal that was part of the top-secret Marine Mammal Program that trained seals and dolphins to perform underwater tasks died on Friday. Gunnar, who lived to 38, was best known for learning how to use a screwdriver, turn underwater valves, and retrieve objects at a depth of 500 feet during the Cold War. In 1973, a Navy researcher approached a gray seal rookery in Iceland and recruited Gunnar, who showed curiosity while other pups fled. His curiosity eventually ended his tenure in the program. “Seals are like cats: difficult to train, stubborn, and aloof,” said Rebecca Miller, an animal keeper at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo. The Navy donated Gunnar to the zoo in 1979, where he has lived ever since.

Read more at The Washington Post

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure