First kill of striped dolphins this season in Taiji
The cove turned red today. Blood flowed from underneath the tarps covering the killing zone. Not everything can be hidden from us, the observers.
It all happened very fast. We had arrived at the usual lookout point early this morning and were appreciating the amazing red and pink colored sunrise when after a few minutes we noticed some boats grouping together a bit ways from the horizon. Anxiousness appeared immediately. It has only been two days since we experienced the last hunt. A drive hunt was undoubtedly happening and we could clearly see what appeared to be a large pod of small-sized dolphins.
For an unknown reason only 10 hunting boats went out to hunt this morning. Around 7.20am the boats had reached the harbor and we could see a big part of the pod swim away towards the open sea. Either the hunters separated the pod or some of the dolphins managed to escape. No matter what we can only hope that the remaining dolphins in this pod will continue to live and thrive in spite of having lost several pod members in this detrimental chase.
The species of the victims became clear when they were caught in the cove. They were striped dolphins. First kill of this species since September 1st. The dolphins were swimming in circles, staying close together. The pod was separated into two groups with a net between them. Because the fishermen had some issues with placing the final tarps in the cove there was a delay in the killing process, but as soon as all tarps were up the first group of dolphins, and soon thereafter the remaining dolphins, were driven into the killing zone. A total of 19 striped dolphins lost their lives according to a reliable source.
Two dolphins, the very last ones, were attached to a boat with ropes around their tail flukes. They were thrashing in panic. For a while it looked like one was drowning, but it was clear that both dolphins were alive until the very moment they had to face their killers. Blood flowed. The killers did their job and we continue to do ours until this tragedy ends.