Inubousaki Marine Park in Chiba prefecture is a measly, downtrodden aquarium in Japan, much loathed by visitors who call the place depressing.
The marine park shut down in January 2018 but marine life continues there, barely, in the park.
A bottlenose dolphin Honey is left in the park alone. Four other dolphins were once there but they have all died.
According to the Animal Rights Center in Japan, officials at Inubousaki Marine Park are not answering any questions related to the current situation of Honey or where she will be sent to.
Honey is kept in a pool outside and observers say she is lonely. The skin of her back is cracked, and she was performing stereotyped behavior of shaking her head up and down. Honey may have an internal disease and speculation is her skin is damaged by sunshine because there is gas in her body and she cannot go underwater.
The center said it’s stressful for dolphins, social animals, to live alone. The pool is small and the water looks filthy.
Honey was once a wild dolphin and taken into captivity after she was captured as part of the drive hunt in Taiji Japan. Drive hunt is conducted for getting dolphins for meat. Honey’s family members were killed for meat.
Dolphins spend most of their time looking for food. In aquarium they just wait for humans to give them food, and do what people tell them to do. Dolphins in aquarium are deprived of their instinct.
Honey was brought to Inubousaki Marine Park during between 2004-2005. She gave a birth to “Marine” in June 2005. Marine died a year later.
Animal rights groups are desperate to move Honey to a sanctuary before her condition declines even further.
The marine park has been closed since January ever since a drop in visitors. The park blamed the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s north-east in March 2011.
Reports said employees of the marine park were feeding the animals, although it is unclear how they are sourcing food and how much they have left. It is possible that the park still has large stocks of frozen food or that employees are purchasing fresh fish in Choshi, a fishing port.
Animal rights campaigners have been refused entry to the facility, while local authorities have been unable to contact its private owner, Inubosaki Marine Park. A postcard action campaign has been started to help Honey.
Besides Honey, Humboldt penguins and hundreds of fish and reptiles are still at the park which is crumbling with piles of loose concrete.