Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. VI No. 3 July 1997

Two Taiji Orcas Have Died

by William Rossiter

Two of the five orcas captured off Taiji, Japan, on 7 February 1997, have died in captivity. (See Whales Alive!, April 1997.) On June 14th, the youngest male orca captured died at Nanki Shirahama Adventure World. On June 17th a female orca at the same facility died. She had been pregnant when captured, but had an unreported miscarriage in April. Statistics suggest that Japan has almost wiped out nearby wild orca populations, yet may give permits for more captures. Protests were held in several cities, and presented to Japanese representatives around the world, a few of whom expressed regrets at the deaths.

It is very difficult to write about these orca deaths objectively. This callous exploitation, and so much more, is symbolic of a greedy and righteous war with nature, and we will all lose by it. Please, so that I might understand, can anyone justify what the Japanese are doing?

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