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Diary of a Taiji Dolphin

22 Jun

Diary of a Taiji Dolphin

The sun is shining and the ocean is sparkling and clear.  My family and I are having races to see who can swim the fastest.  My sister and I are about to tie and I nudge her playfully, pretending I’m going to cheat.  She laughs and nudges me back.  Our cousins join us and we start a new race.  It’s a perfect day.

                In the distance we can see boats.  They look like fishing boats, but there’s suddenly a loud noise that seems to be surrounding them.  I’ve never heard anything like it and neither has the rest of my family.  We’re all terribly frightened.  The boats are coming toward us and my parents call to us, telling us to follow and stay close.  We start to head toward a cove where there is a beach with people and more boats.  People have always been nice to us and there’s no frightening noises coming from there.  Maybe the people there will help us.  I look around and I see the boats coming from behind us, there isn’t anywhere else to go even if we wanted to. 

                Suddenly, I see nets closing us in.  We are trapped and I’m so afraid that I start to cry.  My parents are circling my sister and me to try and comfort us.  We shake with fear and nuzzle each other, not knowing what else to do.

Hours pass, I don’t know how many.  We just circle and circle in the small area where we are crammed in with all the other families in our pod.  We can see people watching us.  They look really sad and they are talking about how it looks like we are in a concentration camp.  I don’t know what that is, but the way they say it and the expression on their faces tells me it can’t be good.  I’m so afraid.

The Next Day

                Now there are people looking at all of us.  Some of them wear whistles and they are haggling back and forth with the men who trapped us.  We’re so scared.  They lift some of us up to look at us.  This goes on for some time.  A woman is looking at me and I see her nod.  I’m suddenly ripped away from my family.  I cry out and they cry out for me too.  I see my sister being taken away and loaded into a canvass harness and loaded into a boat as I’m put into a sectioned off area with other members of my pod. 

The next morning, I can see my parents, along with a great number of my cousins and friends being herded into a smaller cove.  Then I hear it.  The screaming, the agony, the terror – they are murdering my family!  I can hear the screams of my parents, desperately trying to get away from the brutal men who are stabbing our family, viciously, mindlessly, and laughing with each other as they do it, as if our lives don’t matter at all.

                I see the water turning a different shade as it flows from the cove.  It’s the life that is seeping from my family and friends.  Suddenly, I can no longer hear my mother.  My father wails in despair and then he too is silenced forever.  I feel the tears flow down my face as the disbelief and devastation washes over me.  They’re dead, all of them.  My friends, my family, everything I’ve ever known.   My own will to live is now gone.  My happy life has been replaced by one of sadness and despair. 

What My Life Has Become

Those of us who have lived through this barbaric murder spree, have been separated and taken to parks where we have been placed into small chlorinated pools.  It burns my eyes sometimes and I don’t have the room to race as fast as I can, the way I used to with my sister.  I miss my home in the ocean.  I miss my family, my sweet parents who loved me so much and were murdered without a second thought.  I think of my sister every day and I wonder if she has been put into the same sort of prison as me.  I don’t understand what we did to deserve this.  I don’t understand why they killed my family and friends and seemed to enjoy it.  I always thought people were good.  I guess I was wrong.

The Humiliation

                They want me to do tricks for them.  They don’t feed me all of my rations unless I do what they want, so I start performing the tricks because I’m so hungry.  The fish they give me is dead and it doesn’t taste very good, not good the way it tasted in the ocean when I caught my own and it was fresh.  The thrill of the chase was half the fun, but here, they just throw it to me, already dead.

                The echoes in this tiny pool are unbearable at times.  Some of the other dolphins here don’t like me and they ram into me to try and injure me.   I guess they are just frustrated too with our cramped conditions.  It gets really annoying with people shouting and beating on the glass of our tank.  Sometimes I think my head will explode.  I don’t bother to use my sonar anymore.  The pool is so small, there is never any joy or surprise at what is coming around the bend like there is in the ocean.  I simply swim around in the same small circles day after day, after day, seeing nothing but the same glass and concrete walls.

                I don’t know how long I’ve been here now.  It seems like an eternity.  Two of the dolphins that were here when I came have died.  One was sick and the other killed herself because she couldn’t stand life here any longer.  She decided to stop breathing and within minutes she was gone.  It made me sad because I liked her, but I can’t blame her, I’m starting to feel the same.  They’ve recently brought two new dolphins in that were just as frightened as I was.  I feel bad for them because I now know, we’re never getting out – not alive.  As long as people keep coming here to see us and make us do those degrading tricks for food, we’re never getting out. 

                I miss my home.  I miss my family.  I long for the peaceful sounds of the ocean, where no people are screaming and yelling and laughing at me with music constantly blaring, denying me food if I don’t do what they want me to do.  I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this.  This isn’t living, I merely exist.  I only wish there was someone who could help. 

               If anyone’s listening, please don’t let what happened to me, happen to anyone else.  Please help us get out of these tanks.  Please…

#EmptyTheTanks

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