At a hotel-resort adjacent to the ocean in Waikoloa, Hawaii, I watched a dolphin play with its trainer and other resort guests. The dolphin displayed its many capabilities. On cue, it stood on the water and spun. making me and my fellow spectators clap in delight. I can only surmise that like me, the others were awed by how much the dolphin seemed to want to please.
But what I found to be really noteworthy was the dolphin's willingness to be touched; and not just at its dorsal side but also its ventral side -- its underbelly. I thought of how much the dolphin trusted us humans enough to expose its sensitive part and allowed hands to touch it.
Unfortunately, some human hands reach out to a dolphin not to pet but to kill. Every year, the inhabitants of Feroe Island in Denmark allegedly celebrate a rite of passage that calls for the slaughter of hundreds of pilot dolphins.
The dolphins don't die instantly. "They are cut 1, 2, 3 times with thick hocks," said a posting on snopes.com, which also published a number of photos one of which is below.
Perhaps dolphins, in general, have no memories. Either that or they are quick to forgive and forget cruelty they have had to endure from humans.
Recently in Hawaii, a trusting dolphin sought a human's help. As shown in the link below, a fellow human rose to the occasion and rescued the dolphin.
That act of compassion was the least the rescuer can do on our behalf. Saving the dolphin was not only an apology for our mindless and unnecessary destruction of a harmless creature; it was also a gesture of gratitude for the trust and friendship dolphins continue to show us.
Through centuries of so-called civilization, we have remained needless takers of lives. Our redemption lies in our capacity to be compassionate saviors.
The video link (thank you Peter Haberly):
- Ariel Murphy