Honey, dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest dolphin,’ was found dead on March 29 in the same pool she had been for the last two years. She died at the Marine Park Aquarium in Choshi, east of Tokyo, Japan. It was the same aquarium where years ago she performed for thousands of people for their entertainment. Along with 46 penguins and hundreds of fish and reptiles, she was left abandoned in the Aquarium after the place shut down due to a decrease in visitors following the earthquake in 2011and Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The animals in the abandoned attraction were fed but otherwise left to fend for themselves as they spent two years in the same dirty water. They were left at the marine park since January 2018.
Honey, a female bottlenose dolphin, was captured in 2005, near Taiji, a western port town in Japan. Taiji has become notorious for its annual dolphin hunt and was featured in the documentary, The Cove.
The practice of Japanese Aquarium buying dolphins from Taiji received heavy criticism following the release of the film. The hunt involves sweeping hundreds of dolphins into a cove, where some are taken alive to sell to marine parks, while others are killed for their meat. The Japan Association of Zoos and Aquarium has since agreed to stop buying dolphins from Taiji.
While Honey would benefit from being placed in a seaside sanctuary, none exist in Japan. Many people got involved in attempting to save the dolphin along with the abandoned animals. However, not much could be done at the time due to the absence of the facility’s owner.
ATTEMPTS TO SAVE HONEY:
The Dolphin project claimed they made efforts to try and rescue Honey and the other animals but were not successful. In 2019, it was reported that the dolphin and the Aquarium were then sold. The charity contacted the new owners to try to buy Honey, but their discussion ended in March when it became apparent that Honey was not going to survive.
The news about Honey enraged netizens, with Twitter users posting photo captioned ‘Save Honey’. A resort owner even offered to give the abandoned animals a new home over Twitter, which sparked a downpour of retweets. Another user tweeted, begging authorities to help to push through in saving the animals.
Tragically, nothing was done to save the animals, and now, the ‘World’s Loneliest Dolphin’ remains to be a sad memory for many.