On Friday 20th January a super pod of 300+ Bottlenose dolphins, containing many babies and juveniles, was captured in Taiji, Japan in a brutal drive hunt. These drive hunts use motor boats to force the dolphins into a cove, where they are then netted and trapped. They take place every day for six months of the year, from September through to March.
A lone dolphin managed to escaped the nets but wouldn’t leave his or her family, staying as close as possible to them throughout their ordeal. The pod were kept for 5 days with no food or shelter in freezing conditions. The pod was split into 3 to make it easier for the trainers to assess their suitability for captivity.
Dolphins have incredibly strong family bonds and many dolphins became caught in nets during the process and struggled to get back to their family members, with mothers desperate to reach their babies and young. During the 5 days, 4 dolphins died from stress and 100 dolphins were selected to be sold into the captive dolphin industry – many of them babies and juveniles. They will be starved, force fed dead, medicated fish and will exist in concrete tanks – never to see the ocean or their family members again.
After 5 days the remainder of the pod were driven back out to sea, many won’t survive. They have seen 100 of their pod taken into slavery, mothers who just days ago had babies now swam alone. This has been a horrific event even by Taiji’s standards.
The only positive is the awareness the Cove Guardians have been able to raise, with many news outlets covering the story for the first time. This is the only way we will end these horrific drive hunts; by removing the demand for captive dolphins, we will stop the drive hunts for good.
Please share with your friends and never, ever swim with captive dolphins – there is no beauty in stolen freedom.
Please read more at www.facebook.com/SeaShepherdCoveGuardiansOfficialPage
Image: Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians