Honey, the bottle-nosed dolphin, along with number of penguins and other fish that were left behind after the Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium in the city of Choshi closed, sparked outrage among the animal right activists and ordinary people. The owner of the place refuses to relocate the poor animals and won’t let anyone to enter the aquarium, except for some former employees who felt pity for the abandoned animals and make sure at least they are fed.
This issue got the attention of the public after a footage of the lonely dolphin appeared online. Animal experts among which Akiko Mitsunobu who is a representative of a local group called Animal Rights Center says that the health condition of Honey is getting worse, and except for the wounds the dolphin got as a result of sunburn, her mental health is affected as well. “When we went to check on the facility, she was showing signs of stress, putting her head weakly in and out of the water.” Dolphins are highly social creatures, and the chance to be among others of her kind is taken from this lovely dolphin, which can only lead to even more severe health problems. Mitsunoby adds, “I see Honey as a symbol of both the problem of having animals in captivity and the problem of what happens when they are put on display.”
Sarah Ives, created a petition that was supported by a great number of people who got concerned not only for Honey, but all the other fish and animals out there who share the same faith because of the practice of Japanese aquariums to buy dolphins from Taiji. Fortunately, this practice came under heavy criticism following the release of the film. The petition was sent to Yutaka Fukuda, chairperson for the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Ives hopes her voice will be heard and Honey and her friends will be transferred to a safe place as soon as possible.
“Honey and the over 40 penguins remaining at the aquarium are languishing in solitary confinement with only their most basic needs met by the skeletal crew tasked with their care. This is no life for a sensitive, social, and intelligent creature, such as this dolphin. Sign this petition to demand that Honey and all other animals at the Inubosaki Marine Park be moved to an approved and accredited wildlife sanctuary.”
You can read the petition below.
“Dear Mr. Fukuda,
“A dolphin who was tragically captured during the 2005 Taiji dolphin hunt has been living in solitary confinement within an abandoned marine park in Choshi. This animal, named Honey, is allegedly showing stress as the result of her many hours spent without any interaction with others of her kind. The Inubosaki Marine Park where she is kept has yet to detail any plan for her relocation or for that any of the other remaining animals at the facility, despite the fact that such long-term isolation is inhumane for such an intelligent and social creature.”
Please hold the owners and parent company for this marine park accountable for making sure that these animals are transferred to an accredited sanctuary as soon as possible. It is cruel to force Honey and the nearly four dozen penguins at the aquarium to languish for months on end with only the most basic level of care. I urge you to work with the aquarium to devise a plan that will best support these creatures’ well-being.”
Video on the next page: