Honey, a dolphin that had been found by an animal rights association, died in captivity in Japan, just two years after the Delphinarium closed its doors.
Honey was captured during the brutal Taiji hunts in 2005. Since then, he's lived (mainly for the enjoyment of visitor) at the Inubosaki Marine Park, east of Tokyo, Japan. The aquarium ended up closing its doors, leaving 46 penguins, reptiles, fish, and a dolphin there, while the owners waited to find out whether the water park would reopen. An employee was paid to feed them... and that was it. No care, no exercise for the cetacean.
The Evening Standard reports that the dolphin died abandoned, all alone in its ridiculously small pool --considering how active dolphins can be -- at the end of March. At first glance, the pool was the size of an Olympic pool. Drone footage shows how distressed the dolphin was.
The animal rights association "Dolphin Project" had tried to buy the dolphin from the owners of the park. But they had insisted that the animal would die soon. For the record, both Japanese and British associations have fought for dolphin hunting to be banned.
Not an isolated case
This is not an isolated case, though. In the United States, Korea, Haiti, Indonesia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Brazil, many dolphins live in captivity, abandoned, reports the association. The Dolphin Project is trying to get them out of these aquariums. In Indonesia, west of Bali, in Banyuwedang Bay, there's a centre that specializes in taking care of formerly captive dolphins. The goal is to readjust them to the wilderness, then release them.
These images of captivity are a far cry from other images we've seen of the Coronavirus crisis's effect on wildlife. You might recall those dolphins spotted in the port of Cagliari, in Sardinia.
Aquatic centres are at the heart of the controversy
It's not news that these aquariums have been heavily protested by animal rights activists in the past. Why? Three principal reasons:
- Cetaceans aren't happy in them
- Captivity practices are cruel
- Their very existence is a violation of animal rights