Taiji, 10/1/18: Four dolphins owned by the Taiji Whale Museum have died in Typhoon Trami.
As reported by Japanese media, amongst the four dead, at least one dolphin perished from respiratory failure. The other three died of unspecified injuries. Others may have been injured as well.*
*Source: asahi.com, 10/1/18
Dolphin Project Cove Monitors checked on the dolphins held captive in Moriura Bay, in the town of Taiji, Japan, just prior to the typhoon. All mammals were accounted for. However, due to safety concerns, we were unable to check again during the storm. Based on photos we took at Dolphin Base, another captive facility in the bay, all the captives would have been subjected to horrific conditions including high winds, torrential rains and rough muddy waters, along with extensive floating debris. Unlike their wild counterparts, these dolphins would have been completely vulnerable to the elements, with no means of self-preservation.
“In the wild, dolphins are adept at handling severe weather. In captivity, they are confined to small sea pens, which act like a washing machine during storms. In this case, tragically, the debris and dirty water were fatal for these dolphins. They had no chance of escape.” ~ Tim Burns, Dolphin Project
Despite the tragedy that had just taken place, it was business as usual for the Taiji Whale Museum.
Please continue to follow our social media channels for updates. Our team will attempt to compare the dolphins that are presently in pens with what we have documented, pre-storm.
Dolphin Project extends our condolences to all who have suffered during the Typhoon.