Argo the Pilot Whale.

In January 2004 a lone young pilot whale was stranded on a beach in Japan. Repeated efforts were made by the local coastguard to re-float him, but all failed. He was eventually taken to Kamogawa SeaWorld, a local facility that uses cetaceans for display purposes.

Picture Credit Kamogawa SeaWorld  ” So much to see, with lively and synchronized performances by dolphins. Dolphins have an intelligence and athleticism beyond our imagination. Enjoy the swift dips and breath-taking high jumps of the bottlenose and Pacific white-sided dolphins”.

The website for Kamogawa SeaWorld is “under construction” so there is no access to archives of Argo readily available.

In March 2012, Argo was transported to America.

Picture Credit SeaWorld San Diego

A harrowing journey that included a 9 hour flight (courtesy of FedEx) and a truck journey.

Upon arrival Argo is taken to a pool, presumably to recover from his ordeal.

Picture Credit SeaWorld San Diego

Having fully recovered, Argo appears the next day with his new companions, Sully (now deceased), Bubbles and Shadow:

Picture Credit SeaWorld San Diego

The bitter irony surrounding Argo is that should he ever be released he would very probably die, there is no pod to return to and as he left the ocean as a very young animal surely he cannot possibly have the life skills necessary to survive, yet if he stays in captivity he may well face the same untimely death as Sully due to the allegedly questionable animal husbandry displayed by SeaWorld San Diego.

Argo was reportedly aloof to his fellow Pilot Whales at their introduction and showed far more interest to the neighbouring dolphins and responded to their calls with more enthusiasm than to those of his own kind. Argo spent his years in Japan with only dolphins for company.

It is a sad indictment of mankind that this animal has been held for so long in the company of dolphins that he may have forgotten what he really is.


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