This morning, famous animal rights activist, Ric O’Barry, was arrested near the town of Taiji in Japan. Ric O’Barry is best known for his Oscar-winning appearance in the documentary, “The Cove,” which exposed the traditions and results of Taiji’s dolphin hunting season.
Many people believe that this arrest was a set up due to the dolphin hunting season beginning in a few days. Japanese police said on Tuesday they had arrested Mr. O’Barry, 75, for allegedly failing to carry his passport. The local police spokesman released a statement in regards of the arrest stating, “We had a report that he was drinking alcohol and driving, so officers were dispatched to find him and check his breath. He smelled like alcohol, but the reading on the [breathalyzer] was not high.”
The police did not arrest him for drinking, but for not having his passport on him. Those who are siding with animal rights group believe that this arrest makes it easier for those to hunt the dolphins. Many conservation groups have been denied entry in order to prevent anti-hunting protest and rallies at airports. The local media says that there has been stations set up by police near the hunting zones to prevent protester from interrupting the hunters.
The Japanese government and those who defend the hunting believe that these animals are not dying in vein, but following traditions from their ancestors.
Police still don’t have a set day to release the activist who has a strong following around the world, many suggest it will happen after most of the hunters leave the hunting zones.