Dolphins are extremely intelligent and social creatures who in the wild live stimulating lives with their pods. Their natural habitat is the ocean for a reason — they need to swim free! They have strong family bonds and are playful and skilled. Unfortunately, they are victims of merciless exploitation on behalf of humans. They are captured to be kept for entertainment and to be exploited and they are slaughtered for their meat.
A recent heartbreaking video showed a family huddled together and comforting each other after being captured in the cove. After a night of supporting each other through their fear, half were captured to be taken to marine parks and the other half were killed to be sold for their meat. It was just one of many tragic captures in the Taiji cove where there is an annual hunt for dolphins. It’s a terrifying massacre, but it’s also how many dolphins wind up in captivity.
In the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Bali, five bottlenose dolphins were kept in a pool where they were forced to swim with tourists and lived in terrible conditions. There were also other animals in concrete and steel cages. Fortunately, the dolphins were rescued by Dolphin Project and the other animals were confiscated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Dolphin Project worked with Indonesian Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), and the dolphins are now in much better conditions! The animals are now in safe places where the Dolphin Project says, “Almost immediately, the team observed the dolphins’ joy as they swam in the absence of concrete walls. It was the first time they would experience the natural rhythms of the sea since they were captured, and their exhilaration was truly obvious.”
Johnny and Dewa, the last two dolphins to be saved are now safe at a sanctuary in West Bali National Park. Living in chlorine pools for such a long time has drastically affected their health. Dewa has no teeth and is unable to catch fish. Johnny is extremely blind and would not be able to live in the wild.
Thankfully, these dolphins have happy endings but they still suffered very much during their time at the hotel and many other captive dolphins are still suffering too. They don’t have the adequate space to swim, aren’t in the open ocean, aren’t swimming for miles a day with their pods, and living naturally.
If you want to speak up for dolphins,sign this petition calling for the end of the Taiji slaughter and capture. Make sure to also check out 5 Ways You Can Help End the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji, Japan!
This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 11 October 2019.