Saturday 18 January 2014

Angel, the Young Albino Dolphin from the January 18th Taiji Dolphin Drive Taken to Taiji Whale Museum

Angel the young albino bottlenose dolphin at Taiji Whale Museum
The baby albino bottlenose dolphin that was the first to be captured from the enormous (250+) dolphin pod in Taiji Japan was taken to the Taiji Whale Museum without her mother.  The photo above shows the little white dolphin with another young dolphin also taken from its mother.

Some  (Save Japan Dolphins Volunteer Cove Monitor Karla Sanjur and Richard O'Barry) have started calling the white dolphin "Angel".  Angel really does shimmer in the water, so it seems to be a good name to call her and perhaps she will become the Angel to help save other cetaceans who so desperately need our help.

We know she is female because the Taiji Whale Museum has posted so on their FB page announcing that she is captive there.  [Update: they have shut down their FB page after 2300+ angry comments about Angel's captivity].   Below is what they have posted about her:


 (Translated by Bing)
White bottlenose dolphin's body was transported. Group to 17, had been caught in the color white bottlenose dolphins has been identified.
Guess this Dolphin is white in the body the eyes are light pink, because without the dye body mutation in albino (Congenital pigmented deficiency). Today this Dolphin has been brought to the Museum in Dolphin Show pool.
In female white dolphins, at about 2 m in length and weight about 100 kg and future followed we hope you want to think. [Announcement]

The Sea Shepard Cove Guardians were speculating during the Livestream, that because she is an albino, meaning that she has no skin pigment, she may be blind and or deaf as some animals are with albinism.  If so, it is especially awful that she was taken from her mother because her mother would have guided and protected her from harm.  The SSCG also speculated that Angel may have Chédiak–Higashi syndrome like the deceased captive Orca Chimo although that syndrome usually shows as partial albinism, and Angel is pure white with pink eyes.  In the photo, you can see that her dorsal fin is tinged pink, that is because the thinner parts of the body allow the blood vessels near the skin to tint the skin pink.  Because of her albinism, Angel lacks the pigment melanin, the pigment in skin that that protects from the sun, she will easily sunburn and is very susceptible to skin cancer.  Dolphins in the wild do not spend much time at the oceans surface, which has protected Angel up until now.  Captive dolphins spend hours at the surface of their small tanks because of nothing to do and no where to go, so Angel will suffer from her sun exposure in the Whale Museum tank.  She should be given protection with shade, though that will likely not be given to her.  Better still, she should be returned to her mother and family, and allowed their freedom in the ocean. 

Angel being taken captive by the Taiji "fishermen"
Sea Shepard Cove Guardian photo

Angel on her first day at the Taiji Whale Museum after her tragic capture,
you can see how she was injured and bloodied from the ordeal

The Taiji Whale Museum has been described as more about whaling, capturing cetaceans for food, than conservation.  This is now where Angel will be held captive for the rest of her now shortened life, or to be sold for a very high price because she is now a "rare commodity" as the "property" of the Whale Museum.  In reality, she IS special and rare, and has now become a symbol for the Anti-Captivity movement, someday Angel will be free, either she is rehabilitated and given back her freedom in the sea, or she will die and finally become free of her captivity.

Angel swimming with her mother before her capture
Sea Shepard Cove Guardian photo

Updated to include a YouTube video of Angel in her tank with another young dolphin at the Taiji Whale Museum.  So sad to see them trapped in the confines of this terrible place, see how they cling together as they swim.  Many thanks to Yoshi Ko for taking the video and Holly Quinn for posting it on YouTube.


Updated:  There is now a Petition asking that the Taiji Whale Museum release Angel.

Please read more about this tragic story of the 250+ dolphin pod with a baby albino dolphin that happened over 5 days:
Day 1 - Dolphin Drive Captures 250+ Dolphins Plus Baby Albino
Day 2 - First Day of Captive Selection:
Day 2 - This is this post: Baby Albino Dolphin, Angel, is Taken First into Captivity
Day 3 - Horrific Second Day of Captive Selection Continues
Day 4 - 3rd Day of Captive Selection
Day 5 - The slaughter of 40 of the remaining dolphins who have survived so far and release and drive back out to sea of the exhausted, injured, traumatized and starving dolphins.
See the sad Photo Story of Angel Shoujo after a month in captivity at the Taiji Whale Museum.

Update 1-19-14:
 Captive Cetaceans SBTS  Facebook page"Ric O Barry named this baby Angel yesterday after one of his cove guardians said she was like an angel with fins. Today Paul Watson decided to call her Shoujo. As we had been calling her Angel all day yesterday and I am sure Paul Watson would not have known she had already been named. In respect to both great animal advocates who both fight against the Cove, she will be known on this page as Angel Shoujo."  And so we will call her Angel Shoujo on the blog.

~ Kindness for Animals

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