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Dolphins

5 reasons animals don't belong in tanks

5 reasons animals don't belong in tanks

Posted 27 June 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: marine parks, SeaWorld, dolphins, orcas, seals, sharks, entertainment

I'll admit, sometimes it's hard to tell if a shark is happy or sad. (Well, except for Bruce.) But I can tell you, that a tank is not nearly as much fun as the ocean for any marine animal. Here's 5 reasons to avoid marine parks and aquariums:

1. Because sad seals sucks.

520-seals-wild-v-captivity.jpg

2. Because if we love them we should leave them alone.

520-seals-wild-v-captivity.jpg

[Read enough? Make the pledge to never attend a marine park or aquarium now.]

3. Because it's just not natural.

520-dolphins-wild-v-captivity.jpg

4. Because orcas don't deserve to have their babies taken away from them.

520-orcas-wild-v-captivity.jpg

5. Because by simply not attending a marine park or aquarium you can help end this cruelty!

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These places only exist to "entertain" us. So if we don't go, they can't continue to exist. What's more, it's way cooler to interact with marine animals in their natural habitat. Check out these lucky tourists hanging out with a mother and baby whale :)

Do you know another reason not to attend a marine park or aquarium? Pop it in the comments below.

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"Give these souls a voice."

"Give these souls a voice."

Posted 17 September 2013   by 4_da_animals1         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: dolphins, whales, Taiji, hunting, Japan, The Cove

By now you might have heard that the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan has started up again for another season. It’s hard to believe that this cruelty still goes on but Emma -- Unleashed member and volunteer for Sea Shepherd -- reminds us that we can all make a big difference for dolphins in Taiji. Here’s her story:

I have always felt a natural pull towards the ocean. Growing up as a kid, I used to watch Steve Irwin’s documentaries all the time, and he introduced me to Sea Shepherd -- a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of ocean wildlife. Volunteering for this organisation in Adelaide, I was introduced to the Cove Guardians.

What is a Cove Guardian? What are they protecting? These were the questions I asked. I was recommended a documentary called The Cove.

Watching The Cove I grew more and more horrified. I discovered that dolphins are not happy in captivity. For a creature who is used to travelling up to, and sometimes over, 100 kilometres a day, living in a tank is the equivalent of a human living in a bathtub.

“The dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception,” says Ric O’Barry, former trainer of the Flipper dolphins and the star of The Cove. His whole world changed when he watched a dolphin die in his arms. She blocked off her blow hole and stopped breathing, suffocating herself to death whilst living in captivity. Ric now dedicates his life to fighting for dolphin rights.

According to Save Japan Dolphins 1,200 to 1,800 dolphins are killed in Taiji each year, with up to 23,000 killed nationally in Japan.. Fishermen in boats hold large poles underwater and bang them with hammers to create a wall of sound, which disorientates the dolphins' sonar systems, so they can be herded into the cove. Trainers then pick the dolphins who will be sold to marine parks. These dolphins are often sold for $150,000 or more. Countless dolphins in captivity have come from Taiji.

taiji1.jpg
(Photo thanks to Cove Guardians.)

Then the slaughter begins. Whole family units are speared, and hacked at, with knives. One dolphin, in this year’s slaughter, put herself between the slaughtermen and her baby, in a desperate attempt to protect her calf.

The slaughtered dolphins are sold for their flesh. But thankfully this cruelty is being exposed, and together we can turn the tide...

Ric O’Barry and his colleagues used surveillance techniques to gain footage of these horrors and expose them to the world. You can check out their incredible efforts in The Cove. Since then, Save Japan Dolphins and the Cove Guardians have carried on this work, returning to Taiji each year to document and expose the slaughter. Thanks to their efforts awareness is growing.

This year, Japanese activists are standing side by side with people from around the world, at the Cove, in their plea to end this cruelty. And you can stand with them too...

What can we do to help? Simple. Give these souls a voice.

  • Don’t visit marine parks: There are plenty of great dolphin-friendly tours that let you see these incredible animals in the wild.
  • Speak out: Send a message to the Ambassador of Japan in Australia urging Japan to end the slaughter. (Click here to send your message now.)
  • Show suppport: Leave a message of support for the Cove Guardians on their facebook page, or find out how you can get involved here.
  • Spread the word: Most importantly, spread the word. Purchase, watch and share The Cove with all your friends and family. This secret needs to be exposed for the world to see.

taiji2.jpg

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Why is this man crying?

Why is this man crying?

Posted 11 September 2013   by Karen         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: dolphins, whales, Taiji, hunting, Japan

This is Satoshi Komiyama, a caring Japanese man who entered the waters of Taiji Cove this week. He is pleading for the lives of wild dolphins who have been captured in underwater nets. Some will be sold to marine parks around the world, where they will live out their lives in captivity.

satoshi.jpg

Later, this idyllic Cove will become the site of one of the world’s most brutal slaughters -- where countless dolphins will be mercilessly killed for their flesh.

Surrounded by police who were there to defend the notorious annual hunt, Satoshi did the only thing he could do -- he held up his sign, and pleaded. But it was only after he submerged his head under water that he could hear it -- families of panicked dolphins crying out in distress. After returning to the surface, Satoshi tried to describe what he heard, and he broke down.

The battle for Taiji dolphins has only just begun, and Japanese advocates like Satoshi are backed by a growing international outcry against the brutal capture and slaughter of these intelligent animals. You can help show Satoshi that Australians stand united with him for the dolphins of Taiji. Click here to send an instant message to the Ambassador of Japan in Australia urging him to end this cruelty.

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5 animals who would totally get straight A's.

5 animals who would totally get straight A's.

Posted 12 November 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: school, monkeys, birds, pigs, dolphins

Whether you can't wait to show off your report card, or whether you'll be 'filing it' in the bin before mum and dad see it - find out which animals would be top of the class if they went to your school.

1. Japanese macaques. These monkeys would definitely snag the Home Economics prize, as they are known to wash sweet potatoes in river water before eating them. Not only that, they since learned that washing the taters in sea water infused them with a pleasant salty taste. MasterChef ... or MasterChimp?
2. Finches. Language class would be no problem for finches who "talk" to each other using proper grammar. A field study found that finches ignored remixed versions of their own songs, because the jumbled up versions made no sense to them. This suggests that humans aren't the only animals able to order sound logically. tbh, if it's super-early in the morning, I can barely order sounds logically myself. So, well done finches!
3. Ravens. Excellent problem-solvers, they would dominate at school. They have been known to use sticks to get insects out of logs and even drop walnuts in front of cars to crack them open. Check out how smart they are in this amazing test.


That awkward moment when ravens solve a problem quicker then you would have.

4. Pigs. They're naturally curious (so the teachers would like 'em), and they don't sweat (so the other kids would sit next to 'em). That's right - pigs don't sweat at all. That's why they wallow in mud - to keep themselves cool. (ADDED BONUS: unlike dogs and humans, pigs will stop eating when they're full, so they wouldn't eat all your chips if you shared at lunch-time.)
5. Dolphins. Have you ever been cramming for a test or pulling an all-nighter to get that project done - only to give in to the temptation of sleep? Dolphins don't need to worry about that, because they sleep with only half their brain! They can carry on their normal routines indefinitely, which means while you're snoozing ... they're studying.

So there you go, the five animals who would totally get straight A's if they went to your school. Good luck if you've got exams at the moment, or if you're coming up to end of year tests. Study hard, get through them ... then two months of party time!

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Bloody slaughter of dolphins to resume.

Bloody slaughter of dolphins to resume.

Posted 31 August 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: dolphins, whales, Taiji, The Cove, hunting

Every year in September, animal lovers from around the world turn their attention towards the Japanese fishing town of Taiji. This date marks the start of the infamous Taiji dolphin drive hunt.

In case you haven't heard of the dolphin hunt before, here's the bare-bones of it. Every year, local fishermen take to the sea near a secluded cove and begin to drive dolphins and small whales towards the shore. There, mothers and babies are separated by ropes, some dolphins are tied to boats, some become injured or break their pectoral fins in the watery panic, and some die from stress or exhaustion.

cove.jpg The-cove.jpg

The bewildered animals are kept enclosed by nets overnight, and as the sun rises on the cove, the sea turns red as 'drive fishermen' pierce the dolphins and whales with long spears. Some fishermen use hooks to haul live dolphins into the boats where their throats are slashed. The dolphins' shrieks fill the air.

The animals that are killed are sold as meat (despite often containing dangerously high levels of mercury). The dolphins that are captured alive are sold to foreign dolphinariums where they will live their lives in captivity.

The goings-on in Taiji were brought to world attention in the Oscar-winning doco "The Cove". Since then, pressure has been steadily applied to those in charge of the hunt and those who allow it to continue.

There have been some major successes in the last couple of years. The number of dolphins killed in recent years seems to be in decline. In Australia, the coastal town of Broome suspended their sister-city relationship with Taiji after a campaign by Unleashed and Animals Australia supporters.

You can help keep the pressure on Taiji, and bring an end to this senseless slaughter. Take a moment to send an email to the Japanese Ambassador in Australia, letting him know of your outrage and disgust at this annual massacre. Head here to take part in this important campaign: http://www.unleashed.org.au/take_action/taiji-dolphin-hunt/

P.S. You might also be interested to learn more about ending a similar massacre that occurs in the Faroe Islands every year.

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What's the difference between Michael Phelps and a dolphin...?

What's the difference between Michael Phelps and a dolphin...?

Posted 15 August 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: dolphins, orcas, Seaworld, cetaceans, entertainment

... one of them actually enjoys being in a pool.

With the Olympics done and dusted for another four years (good job, London) I was interested to read this story about half-man, half-fish Michael Phelps.

Yeah, ok - it's not a real story, but it's a pretty funny read. What isn't so funny is the fact that around the world, 1000s of whales and dolphins ("cetaceans" if you wanna impress your friends) are captured from the wild and delivered to oceanariums. There they'll live out their days in tiny tanks, sometimes being trained to perform tricks for human entertainment.

Everyone knows dolphins are amongst the smartest animals on Earth. They play with each other and body-surf at the beach; they've been observed wrapping their "noses" in sponge when searching for food to prevent grazes (c'mon, we've all been there!); and this is what blows me away: dolphins in a pod will stay with sick or injured friends, even pushing them up to the surface to breathe if they can't do it themselves!!

Locking cetaceans into tanks at SeaWorlds around the globe is pretty much like giving them a life sentence in prison. Just think of how huge the oceans are, and how far dolphins and whales would swim in a day. Imagine all the things they'd see and experience in a lifetime! Now think of how desperately bored and cooped up they must feel spending day and night in tanks not even a fraction the size of their natural habitat. Sucks, doesn't it?

As long as dolphins and whales are kept locked up in tanks for human entertainment and their best interests aren't taken into account, we're going to keep seeing stories like the one where two dolphins died after a rave was allowed right next to their pool. (Whaaat?!) Or despite the fact that there has not been a single recorded instance of a wild orca ever seriously injuring or killing a human, a captive orca in the US has now killed three people in separate incidents. There is also the sad story of Kuru the dolphin who jumped out of her tank during a show.

Like rodeos and circuses that still use animals, the easiest way you can make a difference is simply to not visit marine parks that feature animal performances.

There must be a hundred different ways you can see and interact with animals that aren't harmful. Volunteer at a native wildlife rescue and rehab centre or animal refuge. How about snorkelling or scuba diving? You're not going to see a man standing on a dolphins back ... but really, who would wanna see that anyway??

Got any stories of seeing dolphins or whales in the wild? We'd love to hear them in the comments.

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Don't Miss The Cove on Sunday Night!
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Don't Miss The Cove on Sunday Night!

Posted 26 August 2011   by         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: dolphins, The Cove, video

Every year in a sleepy little Japanese village called Taiji, a horrific event takes place. And it took one small group of activists with undercover cameras to expose this bloody secret to the world:

This Sunday at 8.30pm on ABC1, you can see the Academy Award-winning film for yourself. The Cove threw the international spotlight onto Taiji and is so explosive that officials in Japan tried to stop it from ever being shown there.

Well now it has been, and as more people become aware and speak out for these dolphins, the harder it becomes for the brutal killing to continue. So make sure you tune in and tell all your friends to watch too!

Head here for more info on the film and ways that you can help save dolphins in Taiji.

Have you already seen the film? What did you think?

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If we could talk to the animals
Posted By

If we could talk to the animals

Posted 9 March 2011   by         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: dolphins, dogs, pigs, foxes, rabbits, mice, rats, fur, factory farms, video, funny

Have you ever wondered what your dog or your cat would say if they could talk back to you? I'm certain my dog, Kia would tell me she doesn't care if she has her own chair, she'd rather sit in mine! I also have no doubt that as I type this, she is trying to say "Hurry up, let's go outside for a tug of war!"

And what would animals say to each other? I really hope this video is close to the truth ;)

A biologist from the Bahamas might be on her way to discovering what animals really have to say. Denise Herzing has been working with dolphins for years and has devised an amazing way for humans and dolphins to communicate. Using symbols, and a keyboard synthesizer that creates sounds similar to those naturally produced by dolphins, they can actually ask each other for particular objects, like a ball or a scarf. How incredible! And she thinks it's only a matter of time before more complex interactions get started.

So just what will dolphins tell us?

And what about less fortunate animals? What would foxes and rabbits raised for their fur say? Or chimps and rats in labs? Or pigs and chickens in factory farms?

(Alright Kia, I'm nearly finished!) But I'd love to know, what do you think animals would say to us?

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End Faroe Islands' Bloody Whale & Dolphin Kill!

End Faroe Islands' Bloody Whale & Dolphin Kill!

Posted 12 March 2010   by Karen         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: whales, dolphins, Faroe Islands, Europe, slaughter, petition, take action

It's one of those things you really hope we would have worked out by now... Whales and dolphins: better off frolicking about the ocean than being bludgeoned to death at the water's edge. Right?? Sadly, in some parts of the world this type of brutal end is still a very real threat for these intelligent marine mammals.

Earlier this week the world wept again for the dolphins killed in Taiji, Japan, thanks to the incredible documentary The Cove at its very deserving win at the Oscars. But there is a lesser-known but equally horrific slaughter of these amazing animals that also needs to stop. Every summer in the Faroe Islands, north of Europe, hundreds of pilot whales and other species of dolphin are rounded up and killed in a bloody event touted by locals as 'tradition'. Men drag the animals ashore by lodging a blunt hook in their blowholes and proceed to hack at their spines and vital blood vessels. It takes several minutes for the animals to die a traumatic and painful death while beached helplessly on the shore. Maybe killing these defenceless animals for food was once necessary in this remote part of the world, but nowadays there is no good reason for it.

Having come from Denmark myself, I find this particularly upsetting, since the Faroe Islands were once governed by Denmark. They are still officially part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but these days they pretty much govern themselves -- and the Danish people have very little power to intervene to help these animals. That's why we are petitioning the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, to halt this barbaric and outdated 'cultural event'.

Do you have a moment to help these whales and dolphins? Click here to sign the petition now, post it on Twitter and Facebook, and forward it to all your friends. 'Tradition' is no reason for killing. Don't let the Faroe Islands get away with this -- the whole world needs to know about this shameful practice!

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Broome Severs Ties with Dolphin-Killing Capital of the World!

Broome Severs Ties with Dolphin-Killing Capital of the World!

Posted 23 August 2009   by Karen         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: Japan, dolphins, dolphin slaughter, take action, victory

This just in! After receiving thousands and thousands of emails from outraged Animals Australia and Unleashed members, Broome Shire Council held an emergency meeting where they agreed to suspend their sister-city ties with the Japanese town of Taiji, where next month thousands of dolphins will be brutally butchered as part of an unspeakably cruel mass annual dolphin slaughter.

During the slaughter, which every year kills 23,000 dolphins, authorities erect barricades and prohibit photography and videotaping of the brutal event. Not even the Japanese public are aware of the scale or cruelty that goes on in Taiji, or that dolphin meat is often mislabelled and consumed by unknowing Japanese citizens!

This move by Broome sends a strong message to Japan that the international community will not tolerate this dark, bloody secret. With more pressure, we hope that the Japanese government will soon wake up and realise that along with the dolphins, Japan's reputation and appeal as a tourist destination is being bludgeoned to death by callous Japanese fishermen!

Thanks to everyone who took action recently by writing Broome and asking them to sever ties with Taiji! Please also take a moment to write to the Ambassador of Japan to Australia and express your disgust at Japan's annual mass slaughter of dolphins. Let them know that you will not consider visiting Japan whilst this gruesome slaughter continues!

H.E. Mr Taka-aki Kojima
Ambassador of Japan to Australia
[email protected]

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Help Dolphins and Score Movie Tix!

Help Dolphins and Score Movie Tix!

Posted 21 August 2009   by Angie         Permalink | 70 Comments

Tags: The Cove, video, documentary, Japan, dolphins, dolphin slaughter, take action, giveaway

You learn something new every day... unfortunately!

So I thought by now I was pretty aware of international animal cruelty, but a new documentary I saw last week really shocked me. The Cove, which is being launched in Australia next week, exposes the mass slaughter of Dolphins in a little Japanese town called Taiji.

"Mass dolphin slaughter?? What the!!" Yes, that's right, each year, starting on the 1st of September a whopping 23,000 terrified dolphins are herded into a secret cove. They are netted in, unable to escape and are slowly speared or stabbed to death!

And why haven't we heard of this before? Because the Japanese Government has gone to painstaking efforts to keep the slaughter a secret, even from it's own people. Dolphin meat is being labelled and sold as other types of seafood and the vast majority of Japanese citizens have no idea this is happening, or that they are eating it!

International dolphin expert and former trainer Richard O'Barry has gone to incredible efforts to expose this terrible secret. In creating The Cove he took an elite team of scientists, filmmakers and free-divers to Taiji. He hopes the international outrage The Cove will create will put a stop to this barbaric practice... HOPEFULLY before this September's slaughter begins.

So what can you do? Fortunately, as Australians we're in a unique position to help! Taiji just so happens to be the Sister-City of Broome in WA. By putting pressure on Broome to sever it's ties with Taiji we will expose the slaughter and shame Japan. The good news is that most Japanese people see dolphins the same way westerners do as intelligent, graceful animals who should never be hurt or eaten but whilst the slaughter remains a secret sadly it will continue.

[UPDATE: Some great news! After a flood of letters, Broome Councilors met over the weekend and decided to sever their ties with the Japanese town of Taiji.

We still have a couple of 2-for-1 passes to giveaway to see The Cove (opening this week)! If you want to score yourself a pass then please write to Broome to thank them for taking a stand against the dolphin slaughter in Japan and severing their ties with Taiji. Then leave a comment below to let us know you've written.

Broome Shire Council: [email protected]

Thanks to everyone who helped in this campaign!]

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