Friday 28 November 2014

White dolphins of Taiji

Although albino dolphins are incredibly rare, sadly the Taiji killers have captured 3 in 2014.

Angel with her mother and pod

Angel in the Taiji whale museum

Little Angel was captured in January of 2014, the only white bottlenose dolphin in captivity was soon shipped to the Whale museum. Her photo story is here

On the 23rd November 2014 a small pod of Risso's dolphins were driven into the cove with another albino dolphin in the pod.

Albino Risso's dolphin with his/her mother

After many comments about the Japanese name given to this little dolphin, some of which are below,
 we decided to call this baby Hope. In hope that this will be brought to an end and they can continue to swim in freedom.

I dont like the name , they are not Japanese Dolphins , so can you ask us to vote for a name please Cove Guardians thank you

why are you giving them a japanese name? this is a slap in who caught them

A Japanese name for dolphin !!!! WE honor the dolphin they stole from ocean with a Japanese name. How about "soul light" meaning the special one this dolphin is rare and is an angel amoung many dolphins sent to us. Don't insult the dolphin with JAPANESE Name IT IS A dishonor.

I don't think u shud respect the Japanese enough to give that poor little baby a Japanese name!!! 

Change the name. It shouldn't have a name associated with the very culture that it has been kidnapped by.

 Shiro Iruka for Risso's dolphin is very starange and laughable to Japanese. Hire a professional translator.

 I think its an insult to give this baby a Japanese name when it was captured and will be in a Japanese prison for the rest of its life. Yes we are frustrated and human, it is just poor taste to give a Japanese name to a Japanese prisoner.

Ceta Base Just FYI, Taiji Whale Museum already has a Risso's dolphin named Shiro シロ  

 Pretty sure that 'Iruka Shiro' means Beluga in Japanese so maybe not such a good name?

'Shiro' is apparently a name commonly given to a dog?

There are many other comments all saying the same thing, but Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians didn't respond.  

This little dolphin  Hope and her pod mate friend who we named Cara are now also hidden in the whale museum

Hope and her friend Cara

The Taiji whale museum translation says

''Large parts of the body color in the flock of captured Risso's dolphin in November 23, 2014 , make sure that there are white Risso's dolphin , we began training in the hotel on the 27th .

This Risso's dolphin is a large part of the body is white , such as the black part occiput also seen , from that eye is also a normal black , albino is estimated that ( congenital albinism ) rather than white strange individual .

Future in the hotel , through the genetic information of the individual , we have a plan to carry out the investigation , such as differences between the albino individuals .

In addition, please note that currently we do not do therefore open to the public of this Risso's dolphin .

About Risso's dolphin white strange individual
Capture Date: November 23, 2014
Gender: Female
Body length : 240㎝
Body weight : about 180㎏

Risso's dolphin
English name : Risso's Dolphin
Scientific name : Grampus griseus

In growing even length is a little less than 4m , small whale of about body weight also 300㎏ ~ 600㎏ . And inhabit the sea of temperate and tropical , has been living in a herd of about 10 dolphins and 50 dolphins , in the Kumano is year-round observation . Squid is not only in the lower jaw teeth in the staple food , only grows fourteen at most .''

As they know the eyes are black and the pigmentation is not the same as in Angel, they know this dolphin is not a true Albino. 

On the 28th November 2014 another small pod of Risso's dolphins were driven in containing yet another white dolphin  although this time it doesn't seem to be a calf.
Again as the Japanese name was objected to we called this dolphin Snow(translation of Yuki)
Snow was also taken to the harbour pen

Snow was also taken to the Whale Museum.

Snow pictured in the Taiji Whale museum

The whale museum writes - 
 Hana Gondo that a whole body was white confirmed that I was this time and, from a pod of Hana Gondo captured on November 28, 2014, started training with our building from the evening of the same day.
Hana Gondo that most are white of the color of the body is found and started training with our building from 27th, but such Hana Gondo that it is unusual is found again in a short term and is surprised very much the other day.

In addition, this individual is supposed with a white strange individual not an albino (native achromasia) because eyes are normal black. I investigate differences with an individual and the albino individual carried in yesterday and continue being going to follow you up in future. くださ to understand because this Hana Gondo still less opens it to the public

Once again people have objected to the Japanese name of Yuki on the cove guardians page

he/she should not have a Japenese name , I really am fed up with you calling the 2 Albinos Japenese names , we should be allowed to vote for these poor babies names 

ENOUGH WITH THE JAPANESE NAMES ALREADY.... Name it something the rest of the world understands... It is time to stop doing this. You are making a lot of people upset.

As there are many new people who may be confused (although when Ric called the first Albino, Angel and Paul Watson a few days later ignored that and called her Shoujo, it didn't seem to cause confusion) but incase it does we will stick to the translation of Snow, Japanese people will still call her Yuki in their native tongue anyway.

       The three white Taiji dolphins, will never see their families or their ocean homes again

Albino causes.

Chimo who you can read about here was the only white orca to have been in captivity. Her colour was due to Chediak-Higashi Syndrome. She sadly died from this condition as it damages immune system cells, leaving them less able to fight off invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
 It is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that arises from a mutation of a lysosomal trafficking regulator protein, which leads to a decrease in phagocytosis. The decrease in phagocytosis results in recurrent pyogenic infections, partial albinism and peripheral neuropathy. It occurs in humans, cattle, blue Persian cats, Australian blue rats, mice, mink, foxes, and the only known captive white orca Chimo.

 Albinism  is relatively unusual: Scientists estimate that albinism in mammals occurs in about one of every 10,000 births. The condition is seen across a very wide range of species and is due to genetic defects that inhibit the production of melanin, or skin pigment.
Albinism is a condition that can affect all vertebrates. It is a congenital disorder (meaning it is inherited from the parents) and is characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. This pigmentation is called melanin and there are varying degrees of melanin expression in individuals. "True" albinism only occurs if both the parents carry the recessive gene for the condition and the offspring receives both copies of the recessive gene. Depending on the degree of albinism, the individual may have all or some of the following characteristics: white or pale skin (and hair), pink or red eye colouring and often, impaired vision and hearing.
 Amelanistic albinos lack melanin and are white with no markings and with unpigmented pink eyes.

Partial (blue-eyed) albinos have some residual pigmentation.

There are various degrees of patchy albinism (piebaldism) due to localised mutations in skin cells.

Temperature dependent albinos have residual colour on
cooler parts of the body i.e. Siamese cats where pigment develops on the head, tail and legs, but not on the warmer parts of the body.

Bluish-grey anerythristic albinos lack the red colour.

Axanthic albinos lack the yellow colour.

The actual colour and pattern of these animal depends on what other colours are in the pattern.

Tyrosinase-negative albinos lack tyrosinase (an enzyme which synthesises melanin) in their cells; this usually produces a pale yellowish or cream animal with pink-eyes.

The more common Tyrosinase Positive albino cannot
synthesise melanin, but can synthesise tyrosinase, giving a fawn or lavender (platinum) colour.

Leucism is often mistaken for albinism. Leucistic animals, such as white lions, are white or very pale, with dark eyes and some
pigmentation, for example ghost markings.

Chinchilla is sometimes mistaken for albinism, but is caused by a different mutation that affects the distribution of pigment on the hair shaft. White tigers are chinchilla.

As the Whale Museum has already established that Hope has dark eyes, so far only Angel is a true Albino.

Some animals can be white or lighter-coloured than usual but not be a "true albino".  Unlike albinos, they have dark coloured eyes and usually possess a few dark patches of skin, for example on the dorsal fin or around the eyes. This condition is called leucism, and occurs when the melanin is partially absent, meaning that it is expressed in some regions of the body but not others. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.
 Leucism (occasionally spelled leukism) is a general term for the phenotype resulting from defects in pigment cell differentiation and/or migration from the neural crest to skin, hair, or feathers during development. This results in either the entire surface (if all pigment cells fail to develop) or patches of body surface (if only a subset are defective) having a lack of cells capable of making pigment.

 The conditions can be seen in many animals but their distinction can be best seen in these below.

Albino hedgehog, total loss of colour, pink eyes.

Chediak-Higashi Syndrome gives a faded look to the coloration as seen in this calf.

leucism coloration is patchy rather than total. Eyes still have colour
 These creatures are very beautiful and the chances of catching 3 in a year is unheard of, yet the Taiji killers have done just that, it does raise a worrying question from the observations made below.

The incidence of albinism can be artificially increased in fish by exposing the eggs to heavy metals (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, selenium, zinc) and may occur in fry originating from crosses in which adult specimens have been exposed to heavy metals (Oliveira & Foresti, 1996).
 As we know that the dolphin meat is almost toxic waste because of the mercury content, it raises the question of whether the waters in the Pacific should be checked more thoroughly for heavy metal contamination as this could be a factor in the capture of 3 albino dolphins from roughly the same place off the Japanese coast.

What ever the cause these dolphins have now witnessed their families being slaughtered and they will be sentenced to a life of captivity never seeing or feeling their ocean homes again.

For those who are unaware of what happens in Taiji, you need to see this and educate yourself as this really must be stopped.

What the future holds for these dolphins we will have to wait and see, but for now the Taiji Whale Museum has them hidden from the outside world, so we can only watch and wait.

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