Too emotionally tired from the days events to really think clearly now, but I will do my best. As I set in my room tears fill my eyes as I think back as to what transpired today. An emotional roller coaster ride it was. Today I was out at lookout point. We have two cars now so the cove guardians can be in more places getting more footage. We spotted the banger boats way out in the distance. They have a pod, no they don’t, yes they do, no they don’t…it being so far away just watching for the black smoke of the engines and through the bino’s gives you some sense of what is going on but really you don’t know until they start coming closer in. It was getting late for the dolphin hunters to be driving in a pod, but they kept circling, so when quietly knew there was something there keeping them there. Yes they had a pod of beautiful Risso dolphins. All the positive energy, prayers, and good thoughts I could muster up I did but alas it was not enough. After hours at lookout point we rushed to the cove, arriving just in time to see the banger boats drive the pod into the killing cove. Up the mountain we ran, yes ran, until I just had to stop and peel off some of my 4 layers of clothing. Once at the top of the mountain looking down into the tarp cover killing cove I just focused my energy on getting footage, if there was any to get. The dolphin hunters have done a very good job at keeping the slaughters under the tarps but they couldn’t muffle the sounds and cries we could hear from on top of the mountain. I believe they slaughter 10-15 Risso’s but don’t have an exact number. One is too many. Then word came over the radio that 3 Risso’s had escaped and were in the harbor swimming next to the trapped dolphins in the training area. When Libby radioed me with this news my heart just sank again. Confused and terrorized they were obviously trying to communicate with the other dolphins who have been trapped in those horrible pens for weeks if not months. So back down the hill we went over to the harbor, first to film the boats with the now dead dolphins in them, of course covered by tarps, and the transfer of the dolphins from the skiff boats to the slaughterhouse. Two of the three Risso dolphins somehow found their way out of that horrible harbor, but one lone Risso dolphin stayed behind, swimming in the same spot right near the dolphin training pens. The SSCS guardians decided to post a watch thinking surely the hunters would not kill this dolphin in plain sight right in front of us, so we were not going to leave that dolphin alone. Bob and I took the first watch. Within minutes the skiff boats came out from the slaughterhouse and started netting in this poor frightened dolphin. I quickly turned on the video camera thinking I was about to witness one of the most horrific things in my life. My hands trembled as I watched through the lens of my camera and my bino’s. Bob was way down the way filming as well and I was on my own, filming. They managed to capture this dolphin and to my amazement they didn’t put it into a pen, or take it to the killing cove, instead they headed out to sea with it. Once again we packed up everything in a rush and headed back up the hill to make sure that indeed they were going to release this one survivor of the pod. They did.
What can be said of these men who do this. And why did they go to so much effort to release this dolphin after spending a day driving in its family and slaughtering them. I just don’t know and probably never will. I do know that now there is a dolphin swimming in the waters outside of Taiji tonight mourning the loss of its whole family and there is nothing I can do for this dolphin other than share my experience and hope by some miracle that someday soon this can come to and end.
I have video but for some reason my camera is just as upset as I am and will only give me the still photo’s I shot today. Probably for the best considering…..Today the cove ran red and I was there to see it. This has to stop.