Even though today was a fantastic day for the wild dolphins, we checked on the captive dolphins at the Taiji Whale museum and the Dolphin Hotel and that was a very upsetting thing to witness. The poor dolphins at the whale museum are in tanks so small, it's amazing that they can even survive in them. I would think that they would die of stress living in these filthy, tiny smelly tanks. You can see the animals showing signs of stress from the intense confinement. Some floating lifelessly, some exhibiting disturbing repetitive movements swimming in tight circles over and over. In the wild these animals would swim for miles and miles yet there they are in an enclosure that is only several lengths longer than their own bodies. I don't know how any normal person could pay money to enter that place to stare at these clearly depressed animals.
In Taiji there is a dolphin hotel where tourists can come and swim with dolphins in the pens and watch their stupid shows. We watched as the trainers were working down on the platforms of the pens and the most disturbing thing we noticed is how these dolphins followed the trainers where ever they went frantically jumping out of the water as if to get their attention. We realize this is because they want food, they are hungry and because these dolphins are all in training they have food withheld from them to force them to learn these circus tricks. In the wild they would have free choice to their food and many of them have only been in captivity for a short period of time.
So although we are full of joy for the wild dolphins that got away today, our heart aches for the ones we witnessed earlier who will be staring at the same concrete walls every second of the day until they pass away from the stress.
Please continue calling the Japanese embassy in your country regularly!!
Please check the Sea Shepherd twitter site for live updates, that is the most current and up to date source of info. Rosie from Sea Shepherd tweets daily as events unfold.
Marley, Carisa and Adrienne
Cetacean Defense League