Reddit | sluthmongor

Activists Call For Honey The Dolphin's Rescue After Year In Closed Aquarium

There are some questions a lot of us don't think to ask until we're either faced with the situation ourselves or our minds decide to keep us awake for a night.

And before the tale of one very unfortunate dolphin came to light, one of those questions was "what happens when an aquarium closes down?"

Although many of us might just assume that the animals get shipped off to different ones when all is said and done, one sad scenario shows that this isn't always the case.

In January of last year, Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium in Choshi, Japan closed its doors.

Vimeo | Dolphin Project

According to Reuters, this didn't mean that the animals inside would just end up abandoned. Employees would continue to feed them.

The aquarium's owner said that ever since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the nation, the attraction has seen a decline in visitors.

Reddit | trot-trot

However, Reuters also reported that Inubosaki's management would not return any calls from media representatives, advocacy groups, or even local officials.

Sachiko Azuma, a leader from activist group PEACE had some words to say about the whole situation.


"I get feelings of danger and doubt from the fact that they are so silent about this,” they told Reuters.

In particular, they expressed concern for the well-being of the aquarium's only dolphin, a female bottlenose named Honey.

Reddit | sluthmongor

As one observer told Dolphin Project, "For two hours, Honey floated alone in a corner of her shallow, shadeless tank."

"The property was abandoned and dirty,” they continued.

YouTube | Primal Waters

“One car was in the parking lot, and only one person was seen, likely a trainer."

This desolate reality has disturbed nearly all that have heard about it.

And in case anyone thinks they're making a big deal out of nothing and Honey is enjoying herself, another report calls that into question.

Vimeo | Dolphin Project

As Akiko Mitsunobu from Animal Rights Center told Reuters, "When we went to check on the facility, she was showing signs of stress, putting her head weakly in and out of the water."

What doesn't help the aquarium's case is how Honey got there in the first place.

YouTube | ODN

She came to Inubosaki in 2005 via Taiji, a port town known for a controversial hunting practice where hundreds of dolphin are funneled into a cove, where some are put up for sale to marine parks and others are killed for meat.

According to Reuters, public pressure in the wake of the 2009 documentary “The Cove” convinced the Japan Association of Zoos and Aquariums to stop buying dolphins from Taiji.


But unfortunately for Honey, she wound up in the aquarium.

While the public outcry has mainly centered around Honey, she's not the only animal stuck at Inubosaki.

Reddit | miebk

Forty-six penguins were also seen covered in dust while perching on a decaying structure. Also included are "hundreds" of fish and reptiles.

Despite claims that the animals remain healthy and cared for, animal rights activists have been denied entry into the aquarium.

Animal Rights Center Japan | Peace

This only feeds into the criticism surrounding the facility.

In the months since these dire reports came out in August, concerned Twitter users were left wondering what's been happening to Honey.

Reddit | Lukie Mc

A common question concerned how Honey and the other animals can be left to languish at Inubosaki when an organization called Crystal World and Prehistoric Journeys was able to rescue an already-dead shark named Rosie from an abandoned aquarium.

According to The Daily Mail, the effort was spurred in response to a rash of vandalism that threatened to destroy Rosie's tank and her with it.

Facebook | Garrey Junior Dove

But Honey is a living, breathing dolphin, thus people have been prompted to ask — where is her rescue?

However, the difference between that situation and the one affecting Honey is that Inubosaki isn't abandoned.

Vimeo | Dolphin Project

As the Dolphin Project reported, another company expressed interest in buying Inubosaki from its current owner, only to back out when they discovered that their offer of "a few hundred million yen" was comparable to the debts the park's management had racked up.

A Japanese newspaper known as Chiba Nippo, as translated on Reddit, reported that other investors are currently negotiating to get the animals out.

Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium

While this is going on, government officials are regularly conducting on-site inspections and ensuring the animals remain healthy.

h/t: Reuters