A shocking new video on dolphin captivity has been released by Sea Shepherd, showing the "dreadful and cruel existence that an enslaved dolphin must now endure".
The footage, titled "Do You Know Where Your Entertainment Comes From?", traces how dolphins end up at marine parks and was released on the same day Japan begins its annual dolphin drive in Taiji.
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The dolphins' journey starts with the slaughter in the waters of Taiji, and follows them as they end up trapped and transported in captivity, where they are forced to perform.
"Every year from September 1 - March 1, thousands of dolphins are viciously herded into a hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, by local hunters who have the sole purpose of kidnapping some and murdering the rest," Sea Shepherd says.
"This is then followed by a horrifying existence of living in a tiny 10X10 enclosure and being forced to beg and learn tricks, just to receive food."
The conservation group says the dolphins are then sold into a "life of slavery" and required to perform in shows multiple times per day.
"These dolphins are force-fed pills that make them more subdued, to keep them from lashing out at humans and this is followed immediately by 'uppers', so they will still have the energy to perform," Sea Shepherd says.
"This is only a small glimpse into the dreadful and cruel existence that an enslaved dolphin must now endure."
The group has a warning to people thinking about going to see dolphins play in captivity.
"If you buy a ticket to a marine park, or participate in a 'swim-with-dolphins' program, remember that you are directly contributing to the Taiji dolphin drive, as well as the miserable life that these intelligent and sentient beings are now forced to live."