After the 2011 nuclear crisis, many businesses in the affected area of Japan had to shut down. The Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium in the city of Choshi in Chiba Prefecture was one of them. The problem is, when it shut down due to a decline in visitors in early 2018, the owner didn’t bother to relocate the animals. They are still living at the aquarium being cared for by former employees. Nobody knows how often they are fed, where the food comes from, or how much is left.
A recent video shows that there is a dolphin named Honey who lives in one of the tanks by herself.
She has no way to socialize, and she is bored and cramped. According to Sarah Ives, Honey isn’t the only animal that has been abandoned at the aquarium. She started a petition to move the animals, saying:
“Honey and the over 40 penguins remaining at the aquarium are languishing in solitary confinement with only their most basic needs met by the skeletal crew tasked with their care. This is no life for a sensitive, social, and intelligent creature, such as this dolphin. Sign this petition to demand that Honey and all other animals at the Inubosaki Marine Park be moved to an approved and accredited wildlife sanctuary.”
The aquarium has been closed since January 2018, and few people have been allowed to enter it.
Rescue workers have asked to check on the animals and even care for them, but the owner has refused to allow it. There have been many protests outside the aquarium asking the owner to allow the animals to be relocated. Even city officials claim that they have been unable to contact the owner of the park.
The future of these animals is uncertain, but if something isn’t done soon, they will not survive much longer.
People around the world are doing their best to help the situation and are hoping someone will step in and do something.
Ives has created a petition to send to Yutaka Fukuda, chairperson for the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, in hope of convincing the organization to save Honey and the other animals at the abandoned aquarium.
The petition reads:
“Dear Mr. Fukuda,
“A dolphin who was tragically captured during the 2005 Taiji dolphin hunt has been living in solitary confinement within an abandoned marine park in Choshi. This animal, named Honey, is allegedly showing stress as the result of her many hours spent without any interaction with others of her kind. The Inubosaki Marine Park where she is kept has yet to detail any plan for her relocation or for that any of the other remaining animals at the facility, despite the fact that such long-term isolation is inhumane for such an intelligent and social creature.
“Please hold the owners and parent company for this marine park accountable for making sure that these animals are transferred to an accredited sanctuary as soon as possible. It is cruel to force Honey and the nearly four dozen penguins at the aquarium to languish for months on end with only the most basic level of care. I urge you to work with the aquarium to devise a plan that will best support these creatures’ well-being.”
Dolphins and whales have long been popular parts of aquariums and zoos.
Many of them are captured from the wild, although recently laws have been put into place to put a stop to it. Some animals are born in captivity, but many do not live long.
Recent documentaries, such as “Blackfish” and “The Cove,” have made more people aware of the way these animals are captured.
Many zoos and aquariums have experienced a drop in attendance as a result. Hopefully, Honey and the other animals that have been abandoned will be rescued.
They may not be able to be released into the wild, but they could be sent to other zoos, aquariums, or rescues.
They were taken from the wild by humans, and now humans need to find a way to make sure they continue to get the care they deserve.
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