Horrific footage of a dolphin desperately fighting for his life has emerged, showing the distressed creature flinging itself on to rocks in a frantic attempt to stay alive.
The video was shot by Ric O’Barry, founder of The Dolphin Project, at Taiji Cove in Japan, where every year thousands of dolphins are hunted and slaughtered. O’Barry, who appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which drew worldwide attention to the small town of Taiji, has frequently visited the community to protest against the dolphin hunt.
The most recent clip shot by the environmentalist shows a family of Risso’s dolphins trapped inside the nets at the hunting hot-spot, with some already attempting an escape. One young male is particularly distressed, and can be seen swimming around in the shallows near rocks clearly disoriented. ‘It’s not cultural, it’s not traditional, Japanese people historically have never done this kind of cruelty,’ O’Barry narrates.
‘If I get in the water and try and help this animal I will be arrested immediately, police are all over the place.
‘This is anguish,’ O’Barry says, crouching down by the tragic scene.
‘He’s panic-stricken on the rocks, and I am heartbroken that I can’t get in the water and help him away from … he’s tearing his skin up. This is awful.’
The young dolphin’s near-lifeless body lolls around in the water, rolled by incoming waves as he battles to stay alive. ‘This is terrible look at this. This is extremely cruel,’ O’Barry says.
Hunters then approach in a boat and try to move the young dolphin back into deeper water by dragging it by its fins and pushing it through the ocean. However he looks as though he has given up the fight as he sinks and rolls around, barely able to float any longer.
The poor creature appears to be suffering greatly before sinking to the ocean floor. ‘These are the cruelest 50 men in the world right here,’ O’Barry says. After the Risso’s dolphin disappears, a diver appears on another boat. ‘They’re sending over a diver, probably with a knife to take him out,’ O’Barry said. ‘I almost got in the water and maybe I should have’, the environmentalist later adds, questioning whether he should have risked arrest to try and save the mammal.