The capture of orca L-pod member “Lolita” was a horrifying event in which several of her family members were killed, their stomachs slit, filled with rocks, and the bodies allowed to sink. Those readers who follow this blog have probably noticed that I try to stay away from this type of really graphic information, and I do find solace in knowing that the Southern Resident orcas are now protected from that kind of violence at human hands. But the cruel practices of whaling and of capturing cetaceans continues to take place in other regions, and all of us need to find what we can do to help to stop it – and increasingly, celebrities are doing just that.
DOLPHIN – MY FRIEND – PSA — WATCH IT! from Dolphin Project on Vimeo.
From activist Ric O’Barry (savejapandolphins.org):
The Japanese government allows about 20,000 dolphins to be caught each year and defends the hunts as traditional, but most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat.
Volunteers have been on the ground since September 1, 2010, monitoring the fishermen, documenting as much as possible. While the footage has been devastating, what was missing was the actual kill, which happens behind a cold blue tarp. But our supporters are patient, and the other day Save Japan Dolphins volunteer Leah Lemieux was there when the tarp fell.
What she caught on tape is devastating. The fisherman does appear to stab the dolphin behind its blowhole. But the dolphin’s death is far from quick, and couldn’t under any circumstances be considered humane. You’ll see how many of the dolphins desperately throw themselves on the rocky coastline in an effort to escape, or perhaps hasten their own inevitable death.
According to a spokesperson with the Japanese Fisheries Agency, this method “kills the dolphins instantly.” In fact, the video footage shows dolphins thrashing in agony for long minutes, amid their own blood and the screams of other dolphins being killed.