"The whole experience was beyond depressing." That's what one visitor had to say about the Taiji Whale Museum.
If that is how a passerby felt about the place, imagine how depressing it must be to live there.
Calling it a museum is a misnomer, it's really a marine animal park that keeps several species of cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and whales) in captivity.
From 6-meter-long, short-finned pilot whales to the more common bottlenose dolphin, these animals live in small tanks or sea pens where they wait to be summoned by their trainers to perform for the cheering crowds.
While that is sad enough, what happened recently at the whale museum is absolutely tragic.
Last Sunday, a powerful storm
ripped through Japan bringing strong winds and torrential rains and causing destruction all throughout the archipelago. While many people were lucky enough to evacuate to avoid the storm, some had no choice to wait it out. Four dolphins, owned by the museum had to do just that, and they paid the ultimate price.
The dolphins were being held in sea pens in Moriura Bay
, south of Osaka. When the storm came through, bringing with it high winds, floating debris and muddied waters, the dolphins were unable to escape. In the wild, they would have been able to move to a different area, but because they were kept in small sea pens they had nowhere to go. When people went to check on them after the storm, they found all four of them dead.
The Taiji Whale Museum is a farce. It's not a museum at all, but a prison for the dolphins and whales that it claims to love. And because of their irresponsible actions, some of the dolphins in their care have died.Enough is enough. It's time to shut this place down and make sure the rest of their marine animals can have a life of freedom. Please take a moment to sign this petition and ask Taiji and Wakayama officials to shut the Taiji Whale Museum down.