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Dolphins are killed and captured at Taiji
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Taiji nightmare continues. Ric and Helene O’Barry arrived here October 23. October 26 the 13 boats went out at 6 AM. Two hours later, banging on metal poles submerged in the water, they drove a pod of between 30 - 50 bottlenose dolphins into the killing lagoon. They quickly placed two nets at the mouth of the lagoon, thereby cutting off the dolphins’ escape.

“No photography”

There were many very young dolphins in the pod, and they could see how mothers and their babies spent the next several hours desperately trying to find a way of this trap. The whalers have placed several large signs by the killing lagoon, “Danger, keep out” and “No photography”.

Trainers select the best

When Helene and Ric arrived at the lagoon at 5 AM October 27, many of the fishermen were gathered there. They were accompanied by about 20 young people in wetsuits of which some displayed the logo of the Taiji Whale Museum, World Dolphin Resort and Dolphin Base. All these three facilities are located in Taiji. They were obviously dolphin trainers/handlers. They were there to select the best-looking dolphins for dolphin swim programs and dolphin shows.

Human consumption

Helene and Ric could see how the fishermen and trainers transported the selected dolphins from the killing lagoon to Taiji harbour, the dolphins simply hanging in stretchers from the sides of the fishermen’s boats. There were several babies in the pod. These dolphins would not be selected. They would be butchered. In Taiji harbour, the selected dolphins were locked up in small steel cages that already contain several dolphins from this season’s dolphin hunt, awaiting shipment to zoos and aquaria. In the meantime, those of their pod members that the dolphin trainers did not want, were being killed with sharp fishermen’s hooks and butcher knives. These dolphins would be processed into meat for human consumption.
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