Sea Shepherd is continuing its campaign to raise awareness about the recent capture of approximately 250 bottlenose dolphins in Taiji, Japan’s infamous ‘killing cove’. A combined five pods have been held in the cove since 1 a.m. Friday EST, according to the conservation group's Twitter account.
During the annual dolphin hunt, 15 dolphins were taken captive on Saturday, with one reported death, reports Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians. The conservation group claims the combined pod of 250 dolphins is the largest ever driven into the cove.
The remaining dolphins in the cove are being left overnight, hunting will continue around 5 p.m. EST (7 a.m. JST). Sea Shepherd anticipates most dolphins will be slaughtered and the rest unfit for capture will be driven back out to sea.
Since Friday’s livestream of the capture and hunting of the pod in the cove, Twitter has exploded with support for Sea Shepherd and outrage at the treatment of the dolphins. Sea Shepherd’s hashtag #tweetfortaiji is being tagged about 10 times per minute.
â€” Cove Guardians (@CoveGuardians) January 19, 2014
A petition by Orange for Animal Cruelty Awareness that was sent to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demanding the release of a rare, recently captured albino dolphin calf, nicknamed “Angel," has 15,000 signatures. The goal is 20,000 signatures.
Activists are particularly concerned about the albino dolphin because of its rarity and age. They fear that Angel will die in captivity away from it's mother. According to Sea Shepherd, albino animals are considered "spirit animals" in some cultures, and their capture or harming is highly taboo.
The Cove Guardian livestream will continue at 5 p.m. Sunday EST (7 a.m. Monday JST).