Dolphin Calf Clings To Mother As Pod Awaits Fate In Taiji Cove
Even though the world has taken notice of the dolphin drive hunt in Japan's infamous Taiji Cove, the capture and slaughter of dolphin pods continues regardless.
Friday has proven to be one of the most devastating days for dolphins in the region, reports the group Sea Shepherd, who have been documenting the activity of hunters in Taiji. More than 50 bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales were rounded up in the morning hours, driven from open waters by a fleet of fishing vessels into a makeshift enclosure of nets along the shore.
Photos from the scene show the dozens of animals huddled together.
"Today was a very profitable day for Taiji as the killers drove in both Bottlenose dolphins and Pilot Whales," writes Sea Shepherd. "We are estimating that approximately 40-45 Pilot Whales were driven in today, alongside at least 8 Bottlenose dolphins - one being a very young calf just a few months old. This young calf was seen clinging to its mother's side as they were spy hopping, confused and terrified after the exhausting drive."
Rain is expected to delay activity in the cove for the next two days, but the animals' fate is likely already sealed. Every year, thousands of dolphins are rounded up and slaughtered in that very spot. A select few, however, are occasionally spared death, only to spend the rest of their lives in captivity.