Viral videos about animals aren’t always uplifting. In this sad footage from conservationist filmmaker Ric O’Barry, a terrified Risso’s dolphin tried to leap onto the shore to escape its killers – and O’Barry couldn’t help the animal, or he would have been arrested.
O’Barry is known for “The Cove,” a 2009 documentary about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. The film sparked international outrage, and over a million people signed a petition to President Obama and the Japanese Ambassador, urging them to make sure the International Whaling Commission stops the practice.
But the slaughter still continues every year, and this up-close footage is a painful reminder of how cruel it is. The frightened dolphin was eventually forced back into open water, where it was captured and either killed for whale meat or sold off to an aquarium.
Whale hunting is illegal under international law, but the government allows a certain number of whales to be captured for “research,” and when that “research” is over, they are slaughtered and their parts sold.