This video shows the heartbreaking moment a dolphin tries to throw itself onto rocks to escape hunters.
Ric O’Barry, founder of The Dolphin Project and star of the 2009 film The Cove, which highlighted the slaughter of dolphins by Japanese fishermen, was back in Taiji, Japan to witness the first days of the brutal annual dolphin hunt.
The dolphins are herded from deeper sea into a makeshift slaughterhouse, penned in by netted walls.
In the video O’Barry says he’ll be arrested if he tries to save the dolphin. He continued:
This is anguish. [He’s] panic-stricken on the rocks, and I am heartbroken that I can’t get in the water and help him away from… he’s tearing his skin up. This is awful.
Japan slaughters 20,000 dolphins annually, hundreds of which at the Taiji hunt. Supporters of the hunt claim it’s a Japanese tradition, but dolphin drives have only become popular in the last few decades. It’s a lucrative business, with the one in Taiji reportedly driven by a few local men who are getting very rich off the killing. The dead animals are sold for meat, while dolphins spared their lives are bought by zoos and wildlife parks.
Human nature at its worst once again.