Taiji Shows More Cruelty With a Small Pod of Risso's Dolphins

12/20/2016 03:40 pm ET Updated Apr 07, 2017
Image Credit: Blue Ocean Whale Watch: www.blueoceanwhalewatch.com

Yesterday saw an all new level of sadistic desperation for the "monsters-dressed-as-humans" in Taiji, Japan.

For over 5 hours yesterday, a very small family of around ten innocent Risso’s dolphins fought for their lives as several motorized boats chased them, terrorized them, and exhausted them.

These beautiful dolphins fought harder and longer than any I've ever seen before on a livestream.

They held their breath and swam under the boats towards freedom more times than I can count, frustrating these horrific “men.” The frustration and desperation of the swindled “hunters” was palpable.

This family of innocent dolphins outwitted, outsmarted, and outmaneuvered these monsters up until their very last breath; but, unfortunately for them, it still wasn’t enough.

There were so many times the dolphins started swimming away, angering the hunters. So many times I shouted at my phone dive again, swim far away! So many times I shook with fear and excitement. But, it was evident, that the monsters couldn't handle an escape. Couldn’t handle being outwitted. So they CHEATED, even worse than usual.

I mean, they cheat every day no matter what; using motors, engines, noise, brutality, and fear. But, this level of cheating, desperation, frustration is like nothing seen before.

When the dolphins understandably had little fight left after fighting for their lives for over four hours, the hunters deployed nets and swept them like “dirt” into the cove.

The brutality these innocent dolphins endured in the fight of their lives is beyond comprehensible. They are dragged with a noose around their tails to the killing beach, drowning in their own exhaustion, and in their own (and their family’s) blood.

Imagine being that dolphin.

Imagine being FORCED to run a marathon at top speed while fearing for your life, only to then be drowned and brutally murdered, while witnessing the same fate upon your family. It’s hard to imagine anything much worse.

In the end, there was one lone dolphin, searching for a way out of this hellhole; alone, shell-shocked, traumatized in unimaginable ways. When the hunters found him, they tied him to their boat, held him under water, and drowned him.

I have never witnessed such brazen cruelty, desperation, and malicious greed. Taiji, is just one capitol for cetacean cruelty (Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Norway are others). In fact, they have an entire museum devoted to this cruelty. While it is currently called the Taiji Whale museum, it really should be renamed "The Taiji Cetacean Museum of Torture and Death"

To see video and images of innocent dolphins being forced to live in deplorable conditions; in filthy tanks, starving for food, without their family should make anyone a believer that CAPTIVITY KILLS. It kills in the literal sense, individual family members, and it kills in the figurative sense, the dolphins’ spirit.

Several months ago, I wrote an article entitled "Can Taiji rebrand itself?" At the time, I believed it could rebrand itself from a town of sadistic killers, to a town of dolphin-admirers.

Perhaps it was my own naivete, but there seem to be many outside forces and groups who “silently” condone the activities that take place in Taiji. For example, IMATA, The International Marine Animal Trainers Association sends trainers (who work at parks all over the world) to stand in the water with the murderers, selecting their prisoners.

There is a global systemic problem. Shutting down marine animal parks in the Westernized countries alone won’t work. They need to be shut down globally; yet, they seem to be just "getting going” particularly in Asia and Russia, where demand is ever increasing.

Not only that, but Taiji’s sister city, Broome, Australia, refuses to take a stand against the slaughters and the captures.

There are so very many opportunities for change. To demonstrate a willingness to stop and respect nature's beautiful and intelligent creatures.

In the meantime, I thank Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians, Dolphin Project Cove Monitors, and Yoshi for being the eyes and the voice, and for giving respect to those stolen and murdered dolphins. What they do is a thankless job. What they do must be so emotionally draining and scarring, that they deserve all of our thanks.

I don't know if I would have the emotional strength to be as thoughtful and composed as they are during one of these horrific events.

Before having my baby, I did research in Ethiopia on food security and climate change. The hunger, poverty, the people and their spirits changed me in ways that are difficult to express. But, you return a changed person. That was hard, but this feels harder, because it involves death and destruction.

I do what I can to bring awareness, and donate what I can.

If we want to see an end to these horrific crimes against sentient, beautiful lives, we need to support those who are on the ground. We can do that with positivity to them (and their imperfect livestreams), gratitude, and an understanding that they are volunteering under less than perfect conditions.

Rest In Peace Beautiful Risso’s Dolphins. We will remember you and your fight.

Follow Dana Ellis Hunnes on Twitter: www.twitter.com/recipe4survival

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