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Navy checking whether ship used whales in target practice

The Navy is investigating charges that a captain of one of its ships used a pod of whales for ''target practice'' while cruising in the Indian Ocean, officials said Monday.

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The alleged incident last October aboard the USS San Jose, based at Guam, has been the subject of a probe by the Navy's inspector general since August, said Ken Ledbetter, a spokesman at the Pacific Fleet's headquarters in Honolulu.

The investigation was brought to light Monday by Sen. William Proxmire (D) of Wisconsin, who said he learned of the alleged incident from crewman aboard the ship.