In this pandemic season, we understand how lonely it can be while trying to isolate ourselves from others. But this dolphin called Honey has experienced loneliness long before the pandemic takes place.
Honey was dubbed as the ‘world’s loneliest’ after it was discovered at an abandoned Japanese aquarium and tragically dies after two years in a small pool, by itself.
This lonely female bottle-nose dolphin that originally lived freely in the sea was captured near Taiji, a western port town in 2005, and later sold to Marine Park Aquarium in the city of Choshi, east of Tokyo.
Honey was seen floating in a pool.
Honey was trained for water shows and performed at the park for 10 years.
Unfortunately, the aquarium went bankrupt due to poor management and it closed in January 2018 as the number of visitors facing a decline following the 2011 earthquake and Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Since the facility was closed, Honey along with 46 penguins and hundreds of fish and reptiles had been abandoned in the aquarium. The animals were fed by an employee but were otherwise left to fend for themselves and spend their time in dirty water.
The facility was closed in 2018.
A Japanese animal reporter named Ryo Sato is very concerned about Honey’s situation and recorded the lonely life of this dolphin.
His work attracted many media and animal protection groups. Among them, the animal protection group PEACE negotiated with the museum so many times requesting the dolphin to be released into the sea, but the museum didn’t respond. A US-based animal charity the Dolphin Project also reached out trying to rescue Honey and the other animals, but not successful.
In 2019, a Chinese woman was said to have bought the aquarium. So the Dolphin Project contacted the new owner to try to buy Honey so that she could retire in peace and dignity. However, the Dolphin Project said the discussions ended in March when it became clear that Honey was not going to survive.
On March 29 2020, the lonely dolphin died in her tank due to enteritis.
Animal protection groups urge the public not to go to the aquarium and marine parks, and at the same time ask Japan to stop all dolphins’ performances and exhibitions.
These animals deserve to live freely.