Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Ongoing Nightmare In Taiji

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Cove Guardians have been documenting and bearing witness to a horrific scene. 5 days ago a pod of roughly 100 bottlenose dolphins were herded into the killing cove in Taiji. Up to this point, over 70 of these dolphins, mostly babies, have been ripped away from their families to become show dolphins somewhere in the world. This brings up the first point in this blog.

Here we are, the year 2012, some 48 years after the debut of the show Flipper. This show and movies have inspired the imagination of countless men, women, and children to become dolphin trainers or at the very least have an interest in these amazing creatures. Of course at the time, there were far fewer dolphins in captivity than their are today. Bottlenose dolphins do breed in captivity. Meaning that at this time, there is zero need to be taking more of these animals out of the Ocean. As I already mentioned, at least 70 dolphins have been removed from the cove destined for a life in captivity. The horrific nightmare these animals face in the cove is truly what it is, a nightmare. These dolphins have been swimming in the cove, netted from freedom, starving, and watching their loved ones ripped away from them one by one. When a dolphin is selected for captivity, it is netted and dragged to a separate holding facility until it is ready to be shipped to where it is going. While in quarantine, the dolphins undergo a heartbreaking training procedure that includes removing the animal from water for an extended period of time. While the killers are attempting to catch one of the dolphins, they show no remorse for the other dolphins in the area. Some of the dolphins are reported to have injuries from boat propellers and two are reported to have died via drowning after being caught in nets.

The nightmare currently going on in Taiji, Japan, is the perfect example of what gives captivity a bad name. The brutality that both these trainers and killers are showing live to the world is nothing short of a tragedy. All these people see are the dollar bill signs that each of these dolphins represent. They don't see them as incredibly intelligent animals that have the mental capacity that probably exceeds some humans. They don't see them as incredibly complex animals capable of communicating with one another and even existing in large family groups. The Cove Guardians have been on watch each and every day and have been broadcasting a live feed at showing these terrible acts to the whole world. Whatever dolphins that are not chosen for a life in captivity will certainly be slaughtered. Next thing to happen will be the killers will return to the sea and bring in a whole new pod. The process will repeat itself because the life of a dolphin is worth more money than the life of the dolphin itself to these people.

Is there an alternative to all of this insanity? The answer is yes. I would love to see a comparison. The amount of money a dead dolphin or a dolphin en route to captivity versus the profits of a touring company that takes people onto boats to watch dolphins in the wild. Sadly, we probably will never know the actual statistic in that comparison since Japan is so dead set on slaughter. For constant updates on this nightmare visit the Cove Guardians Facebook Page.

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