Photo: Michele W. / Flickr
Taiji, Japan. From September until March, killers go out almost every day to hunt the ocean of its dolphin families, who endure either brutal and inhumane murder or brutal and inhumane pillaging for captivity.
February 16, 2017: This is probably one of the absolute worst drives I’ve ever seen. A DISGUSTING, cruel, and a malignant blight on “humanity.”
So much energy, so much hate, so much time, and so much anger were directed at such a small, harmless, innocent, and beautiful pod of Risso’s dolphins; some of the sweetest, gentlest, shy, and most intelligent creatures on the planet.
Around 10 a.m. local Taiji time, a pod of Risso’s dolphins, 9 strong, were found. For over four hours they swam the marathon of their lives, fighting with every breath, with every thought, and with every touch of their pectoral fins to each other.
The anger, frustration, and frankly, the psychosis, and greed of the killers was palpable, even through a 5-inch phone screen.
The “monsters-dressed-as-men” became so noxious in their desperation to kill that they deployed nets in the middle of the harbor to trap and drag this beautiful family into the death-cove.
What did these dolphins do to deserve this? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
They were swimming by, minding their own business, off to their next destination in search of food or socialization.
There was even a tiny baby in this pod, probably no more than a few weeks or months old, so dependent on her mother for EVERYTHING.
It was obvious just how much this unique family of Risso’s dolphins wanted to live and keep each other — particularly the baby — safe from harm, just as any other family would.
They desperately swam under the cacophonous boats surrounding them, evaded the wall of sound, and tried so many times to escape out to open ocean. They made so many attempts, despite their exhaustion, to hold their breath underwater, and make a run for it.
Unfortunately, that much stress, exertion, and exhaustion lead to shorter intervals of time until they needed more oxygen. Each and every time they resurfaced to catch that necessary breath, to fill their lungs and their over-exhausted and fatigued muscles with oxygen, the desperate hunting killers ran their boats at full throttle after them.
For more than four hours, this extremely small pod of dolphins fought their hearts out, fought to stay free, and fought to stay alive until the murderous hunters just couldn’t take it any longer. They were getting angry, they were getting furious, and they sought revenge for being made fools.
Taiji and the government of Japan claim these hunts are tradition; but watching this dolphin drive shows that there is NOTHING TRADITIONAL at all about what they do.
Ten large boats with large engines and large banger poles surrounded and terrified this pod. An additional three or four skiffs with outboard motors later joined the killing gang.
These dolphins were outnumbered, and out-motored. Yet they fought! They confused the killers, they swam under them, around them, pulled the wool over their eyes!
Finally, when the killers lost it and had enough embarrassment, they showed their cowardly selves, and used nets to rein in this family and destroy them, individual by individual. These deeply embarrassed killers just could not accept being outsmarted by a small pod of incredibly intelligent and compassionate dolphins.
THIS IS NOT TRADITION!
If they used canoes with human-driven power, maybe they would have a leg to stand on in the “tradition” argument. But, not here. The use of motors, engines, and gasoline, makes this the most unfair fight.
These dolphins fought so hard. There were so many times it looked like they might escape. Except nine breathing bodies cannot compete indefinitely against 14 loud, motorized, mechanistic boats. The sheer terror those Dolphins must have felt, and the exhaustion they must have endured only shows their desire for LIFE and how desperately they wanted their freedom. These killing machines denied these dolphins their right to freedom.
These murderers have no mercy; they have become such mechanized killers, they didn’t even acknowledge the lives they took. The anger in their voices, in their eyes, and their embarrassment demonstrated their psychosis, or perhaps, their addiction to THE KILL.
In one last demonstration of cruelty, after all the adults in this small pod were deliberately and painfully murdered, the killers manhandled one small baby (and perhaps another juvenile) into a skiff, covered it with a tarp, and drove it back out to sea. ALONE. This is beyond cruel, beyond evil, beyond murderous, beyond sick!
I can no longer conceal my anger, my tears, my disgust at these heartless monsters! Taking a milk-dependent baby from its mother, REGARDLESS OF SPECIES, and dumping it ALONE in the ocean has to be by far, one of the cruelest methods of murder that exists! This baby has no way to defend itself or obtain food or water (infant dolphins obtain water from milk, and adult dolphins obtain water from food).
What if this were YOUR baby!
I hope these dolphins who are no longer tangibly on this Earth, are now swimming freely, without fear, and with stomachs full of untainted fish. I hope they feel nothing but love, from the many of us who fight for them. Their fight will not be forgotten. May the tears in our eyes fill their ocean with love.
To the Innocents: You fought so hard, for the world to see and to hear you, so that we would NEVER forget you. This will END. One Day. Soon.
To Yoshi, the Cove guardians, and Cove monitors: THANK YOU.