A Day of Peace; A Day of Slaughter
By Tia Butt
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute
We had one day of peace after the awful slaughter of the Risso’s dolphins, but today was almost a repeat performance of what happened the day before yesterday. We were feeling positive when we saw some boats heading back to shore after a couple of hours or so of being out, but to our dismay the situation changed for the worst, when two sets of boats located two pods and started driving them in.
When the first 3 bangers reached the harbor with the dolphins they had driven in, they combined the dolphins they had with the second set of banger boats. It looked like both pods were Risso's dolphins again.
They successfully drove them into the Cove and held them there for a while. I was watching them swimming tightly together and felt senses of panic and great sadness, knowing what was waiting for them in their next moments in life.
Soon enough the skiff boats came and pushed the dolphins under the tarps – two dolphins didn't quite get under the nets, and they were swimming around for a while, while the others were being killed underneath, but soon enough the two also were pushed under. Then came again the part that haunts me, the thrashing of these sentient beings dying. The scene I also find difficult to bear is the scene of live dolphins being man-handled back out from under the tarps alive, destined for a life of captivity after watching their families die. I still find it so hard to comprehend how this can happen, although I document it.
A total of seven dolphins were taken back out from under the tarps and taken away for a life of slavery. It was a long day today of killing and transferring the dolphins, and we felt that same sad numbness and were silent as the hunters pulled back the tarps after the gruesome events were over. I stood watching them pulling the tarps back, and wished I was in a bad dream, and I would wake up soon – and what I had just seen was not real.
This only makes me more determined to make people aware of the reality behind dolphins in captivity.
As I sit here and write this, I think of the dolphins that were swimming in the ocean a few hours ago, with their family and then chased down, some of them killed and the rest thrown into sea pens where they can barely move. I am thinking of the mercury-laden meat that people are going to consume from this meat.
I hope for change – it is happening, slowly but surely, but still days like this are a harsh reality to what these animals go through for human entertainment.
Photo of Risso’s dolphins by Leah Lemieux www.RekindlingTheWaters.com. Video by Tia Butt.
Quick Ways to Help
* Sign the petition HERE to tell world leaders to Stop the Japan Dolphin Slaughter.
* Block the sale of dolphins from the Solomon Islands to China. Send an e-mail to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip firstname.lastname@example.org
*Click Here to Join the Ric O'Barry Dolphin Project Facebook Page.
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