Dolphin Attempts Escape from Japanese Aquarium
Aquariums, particularly marine mammal circus acts, are bound to disappear as the public is educated and revolts against it.
- Jean-Michel Cousteau.
A dolphin at the popular Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and in Japan startled onlookers when it leapt over its tank wall on to the pavement in an apparent suicide attempt. A group of dolphins appeared distressed as they watched from the tank’s glass window. Former US dolphin trainer Rick O’Barry said the dolphin was trying to kill itself, likening the mammal’s behaviour to that of a person who wants to jump out of a building. The habitat is so unnatural it leapt out in desperation, he said. “It wanted to end it.”
In the wild, whales and dolphins swim 40-100 miles a day in the open sea. In captivity, they can legally be confined to tanks as small as 8 m x 8 m x 2 m deep. Captivity deprives dolphins and whales of everything that is important:
- its family bonds,
the rich and varied ocean environment,
the natural rhythms of the ocean,
the diverse sea life on which they feed,
the freedom to swim vast distances across the open sea.
In their place, the mammals experience a noisy concrete tank with chlorinated water, buckets of dead fish and endless circles swum in a barren tank.
Whales and dolphins are among the most complex, social and intelligent animals on the planet. Captivity takes its toll on these magnificent and free-ranging creatures. While wild dolphins can live 40 years and orcas can live 90, in captivity they often die prematurely, suffering from ulcers, blindness, skin problems and die from stress-related conditions or self-inflicted injuries
The life of a captive dolphin or whale is one of severe deprivation. It is a life that literally drives some of these complex animals insane.
The young in Japan are changing and one Japanese ex-trainer recently spoken out.
The selling and eating of dolphin meat in Japan is limited to a small number of people. Most people in Japan have no idea that dolphins are being killed for meat. People don’t come across such information in their everyday lives, so they simply do not know about it.
There are people who talk about the hunting being part of our culture. But our culture doesn’t have to be such a terrible culture. There is no longer a necessity for dolphin hunting and the people who are doing it now are simply doing it for profit.
I have seen myself fisherman rejoicing over news that a group of killer whales was caught and that a lot of money would be coming in. It is just a small group of hard-headed men who continue the practice of dolphin hunting with the excuse of protecting our culture.