Taiji, Japan, is a bloodbath once again and a heartbreaking video captures the final moments of the hunt’s first victims.
Ric O’Barry, founder of The Dolphin Project and star of the 2009 film “The Cove,” was in Japan to witness the first days of the Taiji dolphin hunt. And an encounter he had with one of the victims left even a veteran like him petrified and shaken.
In the video below, you’ll notice a panicked family of Risso’s dolphins is shown swimming frantically around a tiny sea pen, having been herded from the deeper waters into the makeshift slaughterhouse. They swim up and down the enclosure, tangling themselves in the netted walls as they seek to escape — a few swim beneath the nets but end up on the side close to shore instead of the open ocean.
One stricken dolphin, overwhelmed by fear, seems to intuitively recognize a friend. He throws himself on the rocky shore at O’Barry’s feet, desperately thrashing and rolling onto his back as he tries to escape.
I will be arrested immediately. The police are all over the place,” hesays.
Activists are only allowed to witness the hunt and not to interfere because if they do they will be immediately arrested, risking lengthy prison sentences.
It’s unclear whether the dolphin died of fear or whether the fishermen finished him off, but, as O’Barry turns away, it’s apparent that, even after witnessing so many deaths, he’s shaken by the incident.
It breaks my heart. This is so stressful. This is so difficult to witness. I almost got in the water. I almost got in the water and maybe I should have. I guess I blew it,” he said.
But as this video shows, the suffering of even one of those dolphins is enough to spark outrage because the Taiji hunt, in particular, is driven by a handful of local men who are GETTING RICH off the killing.
These are the cruelest 50 men in the world right here. Shame on the captivity industry for not being here and doing something about it. They don’t represent the Japanese people,” O’Barry exclaimed.