Earlier this year, an annual dolphin drive in Taiji, Japan, rounded up a pod of over 250 dolphins to be brutally slaughtered for their unhealthy meat. Some of these dolphins — including a rare albino calf nicknamed Angel — were “spared,” only to be separated from their families and sent to marine parks to live the rest of their lives in captivity.
Though supporters of the hunt claim it’s a time-honored tradition, it is not representative of Japanese values, and many have spoken out about the shame this slaughter brings to their country. Recently, ELSA Nature Conservancy co-founder Sakae Hemmi stepped forward to say that the drive hunt is not part of Japanese culture or tradition, as proven in “The History of Taiji” edited and published by Taiji town. It only exists for profit, including hundred thousand dollar sales of live dolphins to marine parks that enable the brutal slaughter.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has failed to take action on this issue due to their misunderstanding that the hunt is an important part of Japanese culture. We hope that the actions of Hemmi and her colleagues can help them see the truth.
Image source: Wikipedia