My First Drive Hunt : Reflections Of A Cove Monitor
Today started out pretty well. I met Cynthia, another cove monitor. Meeting her was great, for after many days solo, it was good to have another person to talk to – someone who had my shared passion for what was happening here.
The boats went out at 6:00 a.m, and we took our photo of them. We then bundled into the car (temperatures had dropped dramatically since I arrived) to register Cynthia with the police. Up to the lookout we then ventured. It wasn’t long before the drive was spotted on the horizon. First, there were six boats, then they were soon joined by others. Eventually, the white line of bangers came towards the harbor. I honestly believed the pod would escape (as they did the other day), yet, as we all know, I was sorely and sadly mistaken. Hearing the banging, seeing the skill of these hunters; well, in short, it literally took me out of my body. I now fully comprehend what it means to have an “out of body experience.” I felt giddy and uneasy – truly feeling “less” like myself.
We went down to The Cove as the drive slowly pushed the very heroic and brave pod in. The dolphins fought like I had never seen on live streams, or from what I was told. Cynthia’s exact words were “What an epic battle!” Yet, horribly, these Rissos stood absolutely no chance against the hunters, with their skill, their boats and sheer manpower. The nets went down and up, with the ease and grace of the curtains or lights of a Cirque du Soleil production. They truly are experts. If their skills had actually been used for entertainment, one could call this demonstration impressive. I am, however, not one of these persons.
The pod was small, approximately 8-10 animals. They were quiet, struggled, but were finally herded into the killing cove. At that exact moment, I had to catch my breath as I shed tears. I was numb, watching in utter disbelief, knowing THIS IS IT. THERE WAS NO WAY OUT.
The entire pod was slaughtered and carried away on skiffs to the butchers awaiting on the floor, a floor which had been empty for days.
I’m not even sure the drive has hit me fully. It’s not nearly as brutal as what is seen on The Cove. Hunters – in fact, the entire operation – is so “cloak and dagger” now. It’s secretive and it’s deceptive. Yet I know the impact will come. The loss of life is yet to smack me in the face.
I say again, the Taiji drives support the captive industry. The ones who are killed, God forbid I say this – they are probably the lucky ones. Seeing them here in tanks makes this point even more poignant. Dolphins do NOT belong in captivity – PERIOD. I feel so very sorry for this Risso pod. I wish I could have done something, but you know full well, our hands are tied. Our voices however, are not. USE YOURS. Take the pledge on our page. Sign the petitions. Tell your friends. I am here on the ground, out of a goodness of spirit. You are reading this becasue you have a good spirit and care. So please, do something about this. Join the fight to end captivity. If we do this, the slaughter will end. Yes, I believe.
Please consider donating to the Dolphin Project or joining us on the front lines in Taiji as a Cove Monitor.