Rescuing dolphins

A story from a couple of years back has resurfaced on the Chinese internet.In the sea near Qinzhou in the south-western province of Guangxi, a dolphin was seen swimming.

china-guangxi-mother-dolphin-carrying-dead-bay-dolphin-on-back-01-600x378The dolphin seemed to be carrying something on her back.

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It was her baby. Her dead baby. The mother dolphin swam for at least two days, carrying her dead baby on her back. This was back in 2012, when a video was loaded up to Youku, the Chinese version of youtube, and it received over 1.3 million views in just one day. Netizens  commented mostly about the noble nature of mother love, no matter what the species.

Not all Chinese tourists think so well of dolphins, unfortunately.

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A group of Chinese tourists lift a stranded dolphin out of the water to take ‘selfies’. An old fisherman passing by chastised them.

These tourists in Sanya, Hainan Island, in 2013, seem oblivious to the dolphins distress, as while watiing for a rescue team to arrive, they take photos. An old fisherman passing by chastised them, telling them they might cause the dolphin’s death with their thoughfulness.

The response from Chinese netizens  unanimously condemning the tourists, with comments like

“How can they do this?! So inhumane. Dolphins are human’s best friends, they’d even protect us when we are under attack by sharks. Is this how we repay them?!! Strongly condemn this kind of inhumane behavior.”   and

“rather than immediately thinking of saving a life, they selfishly took photos. I feel ashamed for the characters of my compatriots.”

Surf guards eventually moved all the photographing tourists away from the dolphin, but it eventually died from a bleeding tail fin, possibly caused by an encounter with a boat.

The South China Morning Post reported the men holding up the dolphin were charged with animal cruelty.

Whilst we may easily agree, how many of us frequent aquatic parks like Seaworld where dolphins are kept in captivity, forced to perform tricks while being treated appallingly?

Ric O”Barry’s film The Cove took the lid of dolphin ‘genocide’ in a cove of Japan’s coast. O’Barry says if aquatic parks like Seaworld did not buy dolphins, who largely come from the murderous Cove, then the killing would stop. Chinese aquatic parks are responsible for  a large percentage of sales, with dolphins being sourced from the notorious Cove.

here’s a link to the movie The Cove, about the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan, and more about the Dolphin Project.