Dolphins could be considered our sea-faring cousins, given the many similarities we share. Some of these include complex communication skills, advanced mental capacity, genuine self-awareness, and yes, even genetics. Pods also display intricate social dynamics that demonstrate the deep emotional bonds shared among family members, the closest of which may be between a mother and her kin.
That bond is established before birth, as mothers have been documented singing to their babies in the womb, and it continues, and strengthens, throughout the offspring’s life. Mother and child spend their entire lives together in the wild. Unless the unthinkable occurs, and swimming too close to a little Japanese town named Taiji is all it takes to rip them apart forever.
The video above offers a peek into the torment that dolphin families face as juveniles are torn from their mothers to be taken into captivity. Following a scene such as this, the dolphins selected for captivity endure an agonizing journey that involves injections, unnatural feeding and hydrating, and stress-inducing manhandling. All of this is done so the animals can be transported to the marine entertainment park where they will live out the remainder of their lives, like this dolphin at Loro Parque in Spain.
This is one of the many important reasons we must never visit or otherwise support a marine park like SeaWorld or Marineland. Please never buy a ticket to see dolphins kept in captivity, and back organizations like Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians who are dedicated to stopping these captures in Taiji. Finally, share this post so that more people can learn about this issue!