We all know that animal cruelty is a problem around the world, but seeing photos of their injuries are still a wake up call. Just like this one of a dolphin who was found by a resident washed up on the shore of Times Beach in Davao, Philippines on Saturday morning.
Resident Judith Acido told ABS-CBN News that when the dolphin was discovered, it had wounds, did not have a tail, and was already reeking. Upon further inspection, Darrell Blatchley, an American marine biologist and President of natural museum D'Bone Collector, found that the dolphin was missing its internal organs.
Due to its foul stench, residents believe the dolphin had been dead for a few days.
Blatchley told reporters that the dolphin was a Risso's dolphin, a type of dolphin known scientifically as a grampus griseus, that prefers to swim in deep waters.
Blatchley said that the injured dolphin could have been part of fishermen’s catch and then eventually died.
Fishermen in the area aren’t allowed to catch nor eat these types of mammals so it is possible that they chopped up and threw the mammal back into the sea.
It is illegal in the Philippines to catch dolphins for selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting, or exporting, whether dead or alive, in any state or form, whether raw or processed. In 2008, a fisherman in Davao City was arrested for killing a dolphin and trying to sell its meat to residents.
Blatchley told VICE, “in the fishing industry, it is normal for fishermen that when they catch something that they aren't allowed to, to cut up the marine life to hide it so it sinks in the sea, but as we can see, it still washed up on the beach."
According to ABS-CBN News, this is the second Risso's dolphin found dead in Davao, and that other marine life in the area have also been victims of human negligence. Just in July, a pygmy sperm whale washed up on the shore in Davao City; its intestine contained a plastic cup and some nylon rope. In March, a Cuvier’s beaked whale was found in Compostela Valley, which was discovered to have around 40 kg of plastic trash in its stomach.
Since the opening of D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao 10 years ago, it has recovered 68 dead whales and dolphins just from the Davao Gulf.
Environmental groups are calling for a stop to this disregard for marine life.
Anna Opposa, Executive Director of Save Philippine Seas told VICE: "Dolphins are protected species in the Philippines, but there are still a lot of threats to their survival. This is clear in the recent incident. We need stricter enforcement of policies and clear marine animal interaction guidelines."