They guys dropped me off at the hotel, I can see the Taiji Whale Museum from my window. I couldn’t resist going to see for myself. You walk in and are overshadowed by a huge whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. A gift shop selling whale meat and cute cuddly Dolphins and toy whales to your left with a cheap model of the coastline with 17th century boats netting and harpooning whales.
Outside there is a seated area with 3 tiny pools with 5 Dolphins in, thrashing around in circles, over and over again. One dolphin in the bigger of the 3 pools is sat waiting for food, constantly bobbing out of the water. In order to train Dolphins, trainers starve them so they do what they are asked, basic conditioning from the dark ages.
I walked down to an even bigger whale skeleton which was right in front of a larger sea pen with 2 or 3 pilot whales in. In that pen were more tiny sea pens with 3-4 Dolphins in each.
Trainers were milling around looking busy, taking buckets of squid and fish to feed them. Nobody blinked an eyelid at me in my Dolphin Project tee, taking photos, looking disgusted and upset.
I thought that was it. But I remembered Angel, the albino dolphin captured a season or two ago was here too.
I entered another building and walked through a glass walkway underwater. There were 5 or 6 striped Dolphins and Angel. They too just swam around in circles, what else could they do. The space they live in is just so small I can’t comprehend why anyone would think its humane or suitable.
I was in awe at their beauty, how graceful they swim, but this is not where they should be. Several of the Dolphins came close to the glass slowly and looked at me as I looked back. It was quite something to look into the eye of these amazing animals. Then Angel came and did the same.
I stayed as long as I could but it was horrible being there. It was a struggle to keep composed. Being there has given me even more motivation and determination than ever before. I haven’t witnessed a red cove and hope not to, but I have seen first hand the reality of captivity and what it stems from.
I then went and sat on the pebbly beach at the cove for a while to take stock of the day so far. The response to what I’m doing has been amazing, lots of support, donations and comments from all over the world. Thank so much. I’m just riding my bike, something I love to do and exploring an amazing country for a cause that I really believe in. Tomorrow I join the team for an early start as Cove Monitor. I hope it’s blue cove day.
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