If there is one thing we regret about 2016, it’s that the Taiji Whale Museum is still up and running. No dolphin should be forced to live in captivity. They are incredibly intelligent creatures and in the wild, they live with around 250 other dolphins – so keeping a dolphin isolated and confined is like putting a person in solitary confinement . . . for their entire life. The lack of stimulation prolonged isolation of captivity often drives dolphins and other cetaceans insane and causes them to do harm to themselves and their captors.
Groundbreaking films like Blackfish are highlighting this problem, and organizations like Sea Shepherd and Whale and Dolphin Conservation are working tirelessly to end the system of abuse and captivity that enslaves these incredible creatures. And there have been some big victories of late, most notably SeaWorld San Diego put an end to its orca shows.
However, The Taiji Whale Museum is still operating. The facility as become famous (and notorious) for its incredible capacity for cruelty and violence against cetaceans. Every year dolphin hunters herd a staggering numbers to the “cove” in Taiji, Japan. These poor creatures are then subjected to either a brutal death, for the sale of their meat, or ripped away from their family and friends and sold to various aquariums around the world. The nightmare does not stop once the dolphins are in the tanks. The horror story of Angel, the captured albino dolphin, showed us just how terrible the conditions for dolphins in the Taiji Whale Museum. But in case we forgot, Sea Sheperd went to document the lives of the dolphins in the facility.
The first thing the crew saw upon entering the museum, “was the splashes of violence between a frustrated White-sided dolphin and a Bottlenose.” The different species are forced into the same tank even though they do not associate with one another in the wild.
The tanks in Taiji are 20 x 15 feet, and cetaceans are denied stimulation.
This drives dolphins insane, so the facility medicates them so that they appear docile in front of their patrons.
In a Facebook post, Sea Shepherd laments, “Scarred, sunburnt and infected, the negligence of these victims is clearly shown in these images, but is only a physical visualization of the torment they experience.”
In this photo, you can see the rake marks on this dolphins head.
No living creature should be forced to endure such cruelty.
There are ways that you can help to shut down Taiji Whale Museum and put and end to the cruel annual hunts. There are many petitions floating around the Internet and with just a few click you can help to make your voice heard. You can also help by boycotting aquariums that force cetaceans to live in captivity. Many facilities around the world stock dolphins captured in the Taiji drives for show, so it’s best to avoid any aquarium, marine park, or any other place that holds marine animals captive. Finally, share this post and encourages others to as well to raise awareness for this issue.
Image source: Sea Shepherd/Facebook