This Dolphin Escaped Hunters But Refuses To Leave His Family Behind Trapped In The Nets

Andrea A.
9/2/2017

The water in Taiji Bay, sadly infamous for its dolphin massacre, had the worst captures of the year on January 20. Almost 300 dolphins found themselves prisoners of fishing nets, reportsThe Dodo.

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Source: Sea Shepherd

For several days, the animals were organized and selected, and the best looking specimens were placed aside to be sent to marine parks ready to pay a fortune to acquire them. Eighty animals, mostly babies, were selected in this way.

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Source: Sea Shepherd

The selection, which was still going on Monday evening, close to four days, caused the death of several animals, who succumbed to the fear and stress.A photo taken by members of the organization Sea Shepherd, Monday night, illustrated the the horror and tragedy of this hunt for numerous families of dolphins. The animal managed to escape capture, but he refused to leave his family, trapped in the nets, and continued to swim after them.

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Source: Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd explained in a message:

 We noticed a dolphin had escaped the outer net, with no barrier to stop it from swimming out to open sea. Dolphins are incredibly socially bonded creatures, and will not leave their pod behind.

This means that cutting the nets isn't an option because the animals' loyalty towards their families would stop them from simply leaving them behind.

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Source: Sea Shepherd

The future of this lone dolphin is unsure, but he is proof of the cruelty and brutality of this practice.The annual hunt is one of the largest income sources for the fishermen of Taiji, and a trained dolphin can bring in over 95,000 dollars for the best looking ones. The others, the majority, are massacred for their meat, which the Japanese consume in large quantities.

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Source : Sea Shepherd

The dolphins imprisoned in the nets attempt by any means possible to escape, and certain of them, just let themselves die.The experience is particularly traumatizing for the animals who escape. Heather Rally, a veterinarian specialized in Cetaceans, explained:

It's exactly like putting a human being in a situation where they're watching their family members get killed. These are lifelong traumas. These animals are highly self-aware so, just like you and I, they know exactly what's happening around them — these are very close family members.
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Source: The Dolphin Project

Trauma can also occur just as easily with dolphins who are returned to the sea as with those held captive in marine parks. Rally continued:

It can cause lifelong health issues. It can cause imminent health and welfare issues ... It can cause stomach ulcers and stereotypic behaviors.
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Source: Sea Shepherd

Sadly, not much can be done onsite. The town of Taiji has called on the police to protect the bay during the hunting season, and all attempts at action against the fisherman will be immediately followed by arrest. Ric O'Barry, founder of the organziation The Dolphin Project, is a fervent opponent of the hunt, and paid the price in 2015, when he was detained by the Japanese authorities for close to 19 days.

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Source : Sea Shepherd

The Taiji hunt feeds the marine park industry, the real cause of this barbaric practice. Sanctions must be above all financial, so that the hunt loses all of its justification. You can write to the Japanese Prime Ministerto express your indignation and donate to The Dolphin ProjectorSea Shepherd.

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Source: Sea Shepherd

H/t: The Dodo

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