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maandag, 05 december 2011 19:32

Operation Infinite Patience: December 4, 2011

Cove Guardians (from left to right) Bob Timmons, Erwin Vermeulen and Nicole McLachlan at  the cove.Cove Guardians (from left to right) Bob Timmons, Erwin Vermeulen and Nicole McLachlan at
the cove.
This week was a really good week for the dolphins migrating past the shores of Taiji until Sunday. Bad weather with really high waves and strong wind kept the killers in the harbor over the weekend, but upon seeing the calm seas Sunday morning, all of our hearts sank. Within an hour of leaving the harbor, the dolphin killers found a pod of 9 to 11 Risso’s Dolphins fairly close to shore. They drove the pod into the Cove really quickly. Trainers from both the Taiji Whale Museum and Dolphin base then arrived in the cove. Three dolphins were taken for a cruel life in captivity. We suspect the Whale Museum chose two dolphins that are currently held in the harbor pens. The trainers from Dolphin Base, accompanied by the owner of Dolphin Base, chose one young Risso’s Dolphin and immediately took it to their pens. The rest of the pod was brutally killed.

During this week, we spent a lot of time at the places where the dolphins are kept in captivity. We discovered that a Pilot Whale at the Dolphin Base is either sick or showing signs of stress and depression. On two occasions, the trainers were working on this specific Pilot Whale whom we have affectionately named Kibo, which means hope in Japanese. We could not establish exactly what the trainers were doing to Kibo because of the location of the pen. During afternoon feeding, the trainers only threw about 4 small fish in his direction and we are not sure whether he ate any of them. This Pilot Whale will be the second dolphin in a time period of 3 months that goes from perfectly healthy to very depressed, sick and refusing to eat. Please do not support any institutions who keep dolphins and whales in captivity.

Cove Guardians Bob Timmons from Canada, Erwin Vermeulen from Netherlands and Nikki Botha from South Africa joined me and Nicole this week. Sadly Cove Guardians Jojo and Christoph had to leave this week.

My time in Taiji has come to an end. My 3 month visa expires on December 7. Nicole Mclachlan and then Scott West will take over. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the wonderful support that the dedicated Cove Guardians and I have received from everybody. Thank you for the commitment to contact embassies, dolphin buyers and dolphin abusers. This campaign can only be successful if our supporters continue to assist and answer our calls to action. Thank you to all the wonderful and dedicated Cove Guardians. Lastly I would like to thank the Japanese safety police here in Taiji, who have always treated us fairly and stayed impartial. They are doing their job under very difficult circumstances and always managed to stay friendly and very helpful.

Be sure to visit Sea Shepherd’s official Facebook page to stay current on the Cove Guardians and follow @seashepherd on Twitter as we “#Tweet4Taiji”, featuring the official breaking news updates as they happen.

Sea Shepherd is still looking for passionate individuals to join Rosie in Taiji to assist her in documenting the slaughter, standing ground to the local fishermen, and pressuring the authorities who allow this barbaric slaughter to take place. We managed to reduce the number of dolphins killed last season by half, and we can do it again this year, but we cannot do it without your help as a Cove Guardians volunteer or supporter. To join us in Taiji (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk), write us at coveguardian@seashepherd.org

A pod of Risso's Dolphins cordoned off in the Cove before being killed. Photo: Erwin VermeulenA pod of Risso's Dolphins cordoned off in the Cove before being killed.
Photo: Erwin Vermeulen
A pod of Risso's Dolphins being driven to the Cove. Photo: Erwin Vermeulen.A pod of Risso's Dolphins being driven to the Cove. Photo: Erwin Vermeulen.
Captured Risso's Dolphin in a pen at dolphin base. Photo: Erwin Vermeulen.Captured Risso's Dolphin in a pen at dolphin base. Photo: Erwin Vermeulen. Captured Risso's Dolphin being taken out of the cove to the dolphin base. Photo: Erwin Vermeulen.Captured Risso's Dolphin being taken out of the cove to the dolphin base.
Photo: Erwin Vermeulen.
 

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