Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Blood

I witnessed my first successful dolphin hunt this week: two bottlenose were taken into captivity and one was killed.

At the risk of seeming melodramatic, the photo above is of a death march. If you can't see it, please click to embiggen. Those boats drove a pod of dolphins for over ten miles, terrifying and exhausting them, until they finally trapped them in the cove, wrestled two of them into slings, killed the third and brought the first two to Dolphin Resort, where they will live out their remaining days in tiny pools of nearly stagnate water.

This shit's fucked up.

This was my first time hearing the banger boats. From above, they sound like knuckles rapping on an empty coffin. I can only imagine what they sound like from below. Understandably, the noise frightened the dolphins and allowed the hunters to herd them into the cove. Once there, one of the hunters jumped into the water, wrestled the dolphins still, tied a rope around their tails and dragged them under a tarp. The dolphins were then presented to trainers from Dolphin Base, Dolphin Resort and the Whale Museum, three of the places in Taiji where people can view and swim with captive marine mammals. Dolphin Resort purchased two and the third was murdered because he was too ugly and scarred for the entertainment industry. The dead dolphin was wrapped in tarps and nets, strapped to the side of a skiff and brought to the butcher.

The live dolphins were stuffed into harnesses, strapped to the side of another skiff, thrown into a truck and delivered to Dolphin Resort. Here's a video I took of the delivery:

In case you're at work and can't watch videos right now (there's no sound), the dolphin trainers lost control of the harness and the poor dolphin ended up swinging around, two stories above the ground like a giant, miserable, goddamn fucking pinata before being dropped straight into a tiny tank. Normally, dolphins are taken from the wild to sea pens for a transitional period before being moved to tanks, but I guess Dolphin Resort just couldn't wait to start torturing these poor creatures. Fuck this.

Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians are primarily here for the dolphin slaughter, but I think my next post will be about captive dolphins' living conditions.

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