By Ric O’Barry
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
Since last Monday, the dolphin hunters have had bad luck in catching any dolphins. That’s good luck for the dolphins!
Either kept off the ocean entirely due to high wind and weather, or going out and not finding any dolphins, the dolphin hunters have not brought any dolphins into the Cove – until today, when the dolphins’ luck ran out.
A small pod of bottlenose dolphins (Flipper in the television series and many captive dolphins are bottlenose) was found by the hunters and pushed into the Cove. There were about 7 to 10 dolphins in all.
One dolphin from the pod was removed for captivity and sent to Dolphin Base, a major captive facility in Taiji that has “swim with dolphins” programs in a small swimming pool next to the Dolphin Hotel, and trains other dolphins for captive facilities around the world.
The rest of the pod was released. As Sakura, our Japanese volunteer Cove Monitor, told me, “It was so sad to see the dolphin family separated like that.”
Captivity kills. The aquariums in Japan and other countries that get dolphins from Taiji are doing so to replace dolphins they had that died on them.
Sakura and Kayoko, our volunteer Cove Monitors, at the overlook south of the harbor to Taiji.
My thanks to Sakura, Kayoko, and Kei, who are helping out in Taiji as Cove Monitors. These are our first Japanese nationals who are working to end the killing of dolphins and the capture of dolphins for captivity in Taiji.
We need to keep the heat on the Japanese government and the dolphin hunters to end these hunts once and for all.
For updates from our Cove Monitors in Taiji, #Tweet4dolphins.
Ric on the rocks near the entrance to Taiji harbor, Japan.