Tsunami Dolphin Rescued in Japan

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan has displaced countless humans and animals alike. One of those animals was a baby porpoise who ended up in a rice paddy about a mile from the coast was rescued today and is being viewed as a sign of hope.

Ryo Taira, a pet-shop owner, and a group of volunteers who had been searching for and rescuing abandoned animals received a call from Masayuki Sato about a what he thought was a stranded dolphin in the rice fields.

“Immediately after I spotted it, I realised I could not ignore it. I had to do something. This was also a victim of the tsunami,” Sato told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

What was thought to be a dolphin turned out to be a finless porpoise, which resembles a dolphin but lacks a dorsal fin, and is considered to be a vulnerable species. Despite growing weak, it had managed to stay alive since the disaster.

After the group tried without success to catch the porpoise with a make-shift net, Taira waded into the water and lifted it out in his arms.

With no aquariums to turn to for help because of all the damage, the group then wrapped it in wet towels and drove it back to the ocean to set it free.

Taira noted that it appeared to perk back up when it was returned to the Pacific.

“I don’t know if it will live, but it’s certainly a lot better than dying in a rice paddy,” Taira told the Asahi.

In a catastrophe that has brought the worst of circumstances, the kind rescue of a baby porpoise is a shining example of compassion and hope in the face of tragedy.

For more Care2 coverage of the Japanese crises, click here.


photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/25035545@N04/


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers27 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.4 years ago


Sheila S.
Sheila S.4 years ago

Heartwarming. I am forwarding to a friend doing volunteer work in Japan!

Manuel V.
Manuel P.4 years ago

Dolphins saved in one part of Japan just to be murdered on another part :'-(

Duane B.
.4 years ago

I wonder if it made it?

stacy m.
stacy modra4 years ago

aww..hope it survived

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Tim Cheung
Tim C.4 years ago


Susan S.
Susan Stickley4 years ago

Well now I can blow my nose and stop crying on this website and leave it with a smile today.

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

A show of compassion and hope.