According to the veterinarian caring for Misty the captive dolphin at the Dolphin Base Resort in Taiji, Japan, Misty will not be released for any amount of money. The Cove Guardians recently discovered Misty living in an isolated, small tank in dire conditions and presently suffering from a lung infection.
Sea Shepherd's founder Captain Paul Watson offered to personally pay the unknown owners of the dolphin to release Misty into the care of the Cove Guardians until his health is restored, with an eventual release into the wild where he belongs. According to the Japanese vet, Misty's captivity is permanent and he will be forced to participate in the swim with the dolphins programs with tourists who visit the resort in Taiji.
Taiji is a very bizarre community that seems conflicted whether to honor the dolphins or slay them for lunchmeat. The town boasts a whale and dolphin museum, images of smiling dolphins can be seen virtually everywhere throughout town, and tourists can even swim with the dolphins if they wish to pay the price. Yet these same tourists can also dine on dolphin meat burgers and dolphin tempura after such a visit, while hundreds of dolphins die agonizing deaths in a blood-filled cove nearby, and others are captured and sold into a lifetime of slavery or held in dirty tanks all for the amusement of humans.
Taiji truly is the world's most merciless community when it comes to preserving the wellbeing of these magnificent creatures, a town without any pity and remorse for taking a dolphin's life or those of an entire family.
Sea Shepherd's official representative Cove Guardian Libby Miller Katsinis, approached the Dolphin Base facility to discuss Watson's offer and had a chance to interview the on-call veterinarian about Misty's condition. Despite the vet's statements about Misty, Captain Watson's believes this dolphin was captured from the sea, and not born in captivity. The facilities at Taiji are not suitable for long-term confinement nor are they for birthing calves.
Conducted by Cove Guardian Libby Miller Katsinis on January 2, 2011
I introduced myself and thanked him for taking the time to meet with me. I presented him with my business card and wrote my Japanese cell number on the front for his reference.
Libby: You're a vet, is that correct?
Libby: Are you misty's vet?
Vet: I'm looking after its care
Libby: May I ask you what name you call this dolphin by?
Vet: No. I won't say
Libby: Is it correct that Misty is a male dolphin?
Libby: How long has Misty been here at Dolphin Base?
Vet: 10 years. He was born here.
Libby: Does Dolphin Base own this dolphin?
Libby: Who owns this dolphin?
Vet: I will not say
Libby: You said yesterday that this dolphin has a lung infection. Is this correct?
Vet: Yes. It has been sick for one month with a lung infection
Libby: Are lung infections common among dolphins?
Libby: What are you doing to treat this infection?
Vet: This dolphin gets shots of antibiotics and medicine inside the fish
Libby: How often do you give the medicine?
Vet: I don't understand
Libby: Are you familiar with the Save Misty the Dolphin Facebook page?
Vet: Yes. I read this and SSCS page every day. What is said about Misty is not true. My staff and I help Misty every day.
Libby: If Misty is sick, why is the tank so dirty? Shouldn't a sick dolphin be kept in a very clean tank?
Vet: No, it's not dirty
Libby: If it's not dirty why is there green algae in the water?
Vet: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I check water every day. Water condition is good
Libby: Algae along the waterline is good?
Vet: It's good
Libby: Is there a pump in Misty's tank?
Vet: A little pump but water condition is good. Bad water doesn't enter.
Libby: Will Misty be trained and sold or will he live at Dolphin Base?
Vet: No sell. Misty will live here
Libby: Why won't Misty be trained and sold?
Vet: I don't want to answer
Libby: Would Misty's owner sell him if offered a sizeable chunk of money?
Vet: No. I don't understand
Libby: If Misty's owner were offered money, would Misty be sold?
Vet: Human plays with dolphin in this place.
Libby: So people swim with Misty when he's not sick?
Libby: Are you familiar with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS)?
Libby: Do you know who Captain Paul Watson is?
Libby: I work for Captain Paul Watson and he is prepared to buy Misty. He has instructed me to offer Misty's owner $5,000 USD for the purchase of this dolphin.
Vet: You pay many, many money (laughing).
Libby: How much money would it take?
Vet: No, no, no.
Libby: No matter how much you're offered you won't sell this dolphin?
Vet: No. No sale.
Libby: Why not?
Vet: I don't answer. No sale.
Libby: You have my business card. Please think about it and call my cell if you change your mind.
Vet: No I don't change mind.
Libby: I remember you said yesterday that you love dolphins. The whole world loves dolphins and we all want what's best for these dolphins here at Dolphin Base and the dolphins around the world.
Vet: Misty is no problem. Don't worry about Misty.
Libby: Do you realize that the whole world knows who Misty is? The world is worried about Misty because the tank is dirty and we feel that he is being kept in inhumane conditions. The world is concerned for all of these dolphins.
Vet: Please send out correct information to all the world. Misty is fine.
Libby: Would you be willing to go on camera and film a press release telling the world the Misty is ok?
Libby: You don't want the world to know that you're doing what you can for Misty and that you're treating him to the best of your ability?
Libby: If you don't tell people your side of the story the will continue to be worried about Misty
Vet: (Laughs) Misty is no problem.
Libby: Will Misty be moved when he is no longer sick?
Vet: We won't move Misty as long as you and your people are here at Dolphin Base.
Libby: So if we're not here you'll move Misty back into a proper tank?
Vet: Yes. Maybe. When no longer sick.
Libby: What day are you moving Misty?
Vet: Maybe Tomorrow or day after in afternoon.
Libby: I greatly appreciate you talking with me; it means a lot. Please call me if you change your mind about selling Misty or if you want to film a press release.