Last night was a very intense and sad night for us who monitor what is happening in Taiji Cove, Japan. We monitor the tweets from the Cove Guardians who are there to collate and distribute information about the dolphin hunts to the wider world.
There was a fierce battle on the previous night but a large pod of dolphins managed to outwit the hunters and escape. But the boats were out searching for them again last night (early morning in Japan) and they located them. When we get reports that there are boats on the horizon in drive formation, we know that the chase is on and that the dolphins are going to have to fight for survival.
A pod is a group of dolphins. The bonds of dolphins in a pod are very close.There have eyewitness acoounts of them carrying the sick, the elderly, and those that have been injured.
Mothers and calves can form one kind of pod. They are aptly named “nurseries”. They may also allow elderly dolphins that need protection to be with them. There are “juvenile” pods which are those males and females who are not yet ready to reproduce but are too old to stay in the “nursery”. Females often return to their mother’s pod to raise their own calves. Adult males form a “pair-bond” with another adult male and visit s pod to mate with the females and then leave. But these male bond relationships are lifelong commitments. Although the males only really get involved with the females for reproduction, large males do sometimes travel on the outside of nurseries to protect the mothers and calves.
Does this really sound like the behaviour of a species that does not feel kinship for their close ones? Do you think that they would experience some sadness or grief or worry in dolphin way, if one of their pod was ill, injured or lost?
Last night (our time) a large pod was located and driven towards the Cove.They are striped dolphins, the ones on the bottom right of the photograph above. It was so large that all eleven killing boats had to be involved in propelling them to entrapment in the Cove. Some managed to to escape. Fifty did not. To ensure that they did not, skiffs or chaser boats joined the regular boats and forced the unfortunate ones into the Cove. The nets were secured so they were penned in.
There have been reports that one dolphin was retained. Maybe that one showed resourcefulness and talent at leaping and talking. Who knows why that one was the “luckiest” one of the unfortunates. He/she will be trained and sold to a Marine Park or the equivalent to make money by performing tricks for the public who will only see a happy playful dolphin. They will not see how the animal suffers in silence, maybe suffering from PTSD, numbed and programmed to perform in exchange for dead fish to eat to keep it “alive”.
It was reported that the other 26-28 dolphins were massacred in the Cove. Have you seen the film “The Ten Commandments ” where the River Nile turns red? Well, that is how the blue watered Cove looked.
That would look good on a postcard wouldn’t it? “Having a great time in Taiji. Wish you were here?”
The carcasses will be sold for meat. There is a problem with dolphin meat. Tests have shown that it contains higher levels of mercury than is safe to consume. Allegedly, the dolphin meat has been sold as whale meat.What is a little bit of poison between compatriots? Allegedly the Japanese people are unaware of the way that the dolphins/whales are barbarically hunted and killed. Why on earth would you hide something from your own people if you think it is acceptable?
Somewhere out in the ocean near Taiji, the escapees from the targeted pod are wondering what hit them and mourning the loss of their close knit community, wondering what happened to the others. One of them knows but there is no one left to tell…
All I can do is put them on record so that they are not forgotten and send Reiki to the lone one and the rest of the survivors.
A pod of striped dolphins struggle for their last breaths of life. — at Taiji, Japan.
One of three Risso dolphins transferred to Dolphin Resort Hotel. These were being held in a pen awaiting transfer.
The last 3 photos are all taken by Cove Guardians who monitor the situation for us.