Japanese fishermen rounded up more than 250 bottlenose dolphins in a secluded cove to kill for meat or sell into a lifetime of captivity, U.S. conservationists warned.
The annual hunting of dolphins at Taiji Cove highlights the rift between conservationists worldwide who see it as a bloody slaughter and Japanese who defend it as a local custom.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first raised the alarm over the plight of the dolphins Friday, saying five separate pods of bottlenose dolphins had been “driven into Taiji’s infamous killing cove.”
The group warned that the dolphins would “face a violent and stressful captive selection process. Babies and mothers will be torn from each other’s sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves.”
By the end of Saturday, 25 dolphins had been removed from their pod and taken “to a lifetime of imprisonment,” the group said. One of them died in the process and will be butchered, it said.
The dolphins will be kept penned in the cove for another night before the selection process begins again Sunday.
Full story and video: CNN