Dolphins Beach Themselves At Marine Park To Escape Bullying [Video]

The two dolphins struggled to stay out of the water.

Credit: @sevenseasoffreedom/Instagram

A disturbing video has surfaced from Kyoto Aquarium in Japan that features two dolphins who have beached themselves on the hard surface surrounding their tank. It’s a short, but telling video, and opens on the pair of dolphins already out of the water and thrashing around. They lay there, one flailing on its side and the other trying to maneuver itself on its stomach, for quite awhile without anyone coming to their rescue.

Finally, two keepers appear and one half-heartedly tries to push the one closest to the water in, but to no avail. Instead, that dolphin struggles to actually stay out of the tank and doesn’t seem to want to go back in. The video ends before we see whether the two were successfully placed back in the water.

The problem with this incident is that it’s highly unusual for dolphins to purposefully jump out of the water, which means they were likely trying to escape in an act of desperation. A spokesperson for PETA, David Perle, spoke with The Dodo to explain what might have been happening in this situation.

“It is likely that the dolphin became stuck after being chased by others in the tank,” Perle said. “The animal clearly is stuck and struggling and requires trainer assistance to get back into the water.”

Though it’s unclear whether they really were being bullied, the bottom line is that they were attempting to escape for one reason or another. If it wasn’t bullying, it could be the small size of the tank or harsh chemicals that the dolphins were trying to flee from.

Sadly, bullying is fairly common in these marine parks because the small tanks leave little personal space for the marine animals and this causes tons of everyday stress that leads to bullying and confrontations. This isn’t the first time that this kind of behavior has been documented, either.

Credit: George Volk

Last year, two separate videos showed Morgan, a wild-caught orca at SeaWorld’s Loro Parque in Spain, beaching herself to escape extreme bullying. In one video, she even appears to have blood dripping from her chin. Sarah Fischbeck, a former water quality diver at SeaWorld San Diego, said that she regularly saw aggression between the orcas and dolphins, including a tragic instance when a baby dolphin panicked from harassment, darted straight into a wall, and died.

“We’d be the first ones to the pool most mornings … and more than once we found a dolphin pushed out of the pool by the other dolphins,” Fischbeck said. “Just laying on the concrete.”

What’s worse is that Kyoto Aquarium, where this video was taken, is one of the facilities that buys dolphins from the annual Taiji hunt that leaves countless dolphins dead and separates pods by picking out the “prettiest” dolphins. It’s no wonder that these particular dolphins were in distress.

Though it’s too late to save these dolphins and others at marine parks, one way you can help is to refuse to visit any marine park that has whales or dolphins. By doing this, you can ensure that the parks lose money from having less visitors and either shutting down completely or, at the very least, compromising by deciding to discontinue their captive dolphin or whale programs.

Watch the video below to watch the incident at the Kyoto Aquarium.

A disturbing video has emerged from the Kyoto Aquarium in Japan. It is unclear how long these bottlenose dolphins remained struggling on the slide out before the trainer noticed, or how long it took for the trainer to push the dolphins back into the tank. If you listen closely you can hear the dolphins vocalizing as they struggle on the slide out. As disturbing as this video is, it is not uncommon for captive cetaceans to beach themselves on purpose on slide outs. It is likely these dolphins beached themselves because of boredom, or as a means of escape from an aggressive encounter with a pool mate. – The Kyoto Aquarium is located in the landlocked, busy city of Kyoto, Japan—nowhere near the ocean. As seen in the video, the facility is especially close a loud, busy highway— incredibly harmful for the sound sensitive marine mammals that are forced to "live" there. Before the aquarium's opening in 2012, activists spoke out against the plans to build the aquarium and were concerned about the facility's plan to acquire wild-caught dolphins from Taiji, Japan. However the mayor of Kyoto insisted that the dolphins would be captured chiefly for "scientific research purposes" and now eight wild-caught bottlenose dolphins "live" in the pools rather than out in the ocean with their families. – Witnesses of the dolphin shows have disagreed that the dolphins educate the public. "The dolphins participate in numerous shows each day, and the contents of the show I observed seemed to be more about their ability to perform clever circus-type tricks rather than about their biological characteristics and lifestyle in the wild." -D.M Arakaki – This is an example of where Taiji caught dolphins end up, and what their lives become once they are stripped from their ocean homes. These once wild dolphins are now enclosed in a barren tank—forced to do humiliating tricks for human entertainment. Please watch the documentary "The Cove" for more information on what happens in the annual Taiji dolphin drive and visit @dolphin_project for day to day information. You can help end the suffering! Pledge to not buy a ticket! – Caption credit: @sevenseasoffreedom Video credit: @umisoranikki

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