Dolphins are social animals, living in groups called pods and taking loving care of their babies. They're also known to be very friendly to humans.
Dolphins help injured members of their family groups and newborn babies to the surface by swimming under them and nudging upward, just as some reports describe them doing with humans. Interestingly, there are some real reports of dolphins helping other cetaceans.
Real-Life Cases: Dolphins Saving Humans
You've seen it in Flipper and other popular culture stories; dolphins rescuing humans from drowning or sharks, keeping them safe from harm. But does it really happen?
The answer is, surprisingly often!!!
Several years ago, in the Gulf of Akaba, a British tourist was rescued by three dolphins from sharks. Near the Sinai Peninsula, a ship captain had stopped his boat so several passengers could watch dolphins playing. Three of the passengers decided to swim with them, and one stayed a little longer than the others. To his horror, he was bitten by a shark -- and more were coming. Suddenly, three dolphins placed themselves between the tourist and the sharks, smacking the water with tails and flippers, and drove the sharks off so the man could be rescued.
It's Taiji's dead dolphins that have made it infamous among animal rights activists: Every year 23,000 dolphins are corralled into a local cove and stabbed to death with harpoons, only in Japan. Most are sold for food, but Dolphin meat sold to the Japanese people is highly contaminated with mercury, methylmercury, cadmium, DDT and PCBs. The Japanese government provides no warning that eating dolphin meat poses a serious health hazard.
The dolphin meat was found to be highly polluted, containing 19.2ppm (parts per million) of mercury. This is 48 times higher than the maximum advisory level of 0.4ppm, set by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan.
Dolphins which are high trophic feeders, subjects those eating this meat to high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, and organochlorines like PCBs, dioxins and benzenes.
The dolphin massacres in Japan and Europe will continue for as long as members of the international dolphin display industry reward the fishermen with thousands of dollars for animals that are deemed suitable for commercial exploitation in captivity.
Tags: Europe, Denmark, Dolphins, Flipper, Dolphins Massacre, Dolphins Slaughter, Massacre in Japan, Taiji, Save the Dolphins, The Cove, Whales Massacre
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