In the fifth drive hunt this 2014-2015 killing season, a large family pod of Pilot Whales on their migratory route 20 miles from Taiji, were brutally driven into Taji bay and netted off. Two juveniles were selected for a hellish life in captivity and were removed from the family, causing their family members certain anguish. The rest of the pod were then left there, trapped. The weather conditions worsened and they were left for 48 hours with no food, desperately trying to stop themselves from being thrown onto the rocks, not knowing their fate. In the deep water of the ocean they would have had protection, but in the bay they had none.
This morning the killers came back and slaughtered the pod members in front of each other, transporting their bodies in view of their family. They left the smallest so that they wouldn’t count against their quota and instead tried to drive them back out to sea. However because the grieving Pilot Whales didn’t want to leave the area where they last saw their family and were so exhausted, they were instead lost in the harbour and will most likely beach themselves, resulting in a slow and painful death. Their deaths will not count against the Taiji killer’s quota.
15 gentle, family-orientated short finned Pilot Whales lost their lives in this drive hunt, 8-10 are lost at sea and two were taken captive by Taiji Dolphin Resort hotel.
Nothing can demonstrate more clearly the close relationship between dolphin captivity and dolphin slaughter more than these drive hunts, where the dolphin trainers and killers ride together in the same boats.