A bottlenose dolphin, nearly 50 penguins and hundreds of other marine animals have been abandoned at a defunct aquarium in Japan for months due to lack of visitors.
Animal rights activists captured video footage showing a female dolphin named Hone floating in a small pool at the Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium in Choshi, Chiba Prefecture.
The 18-year-old dolphin and 46 Humboldt penguins along with fish and reptiles were left at the aquarium since late August, The Mainichi reported.
The animals are still being fed regularly by a paid employee even after the facility shuttered in January.
But activist groups, including the Dolphin Project, have called on the local government to save the creatures.
“The footage we have reviewed demonstrates the need to take action immediately in order to save dolphin Honey from a miserable death. The same is true for all of the abandoned animals at Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium,” Ric O’Barry, founder and director of Dolphin Project, said.
In other pictures, penguins in the aquarium can be seen covered in dust while resting on debris.
Can you help Honey the dolphin and all the other animals abandoned and trapped at the closed Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium in #Japan? 💔
— PETA Asia (@PETAAsia) September 13, 2018
Honey was captured in 2005 during the annual dolphin drives in Taiji, where Japanese fishermen gather families of wild dolphins in a cove to be slaughtered for meat or sold to marine parks around the world, according to The Dodo.
The aquarium in Choshi opened its doors in 1954, but visitors declined after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The government of Chiba Prefecture has been inspecting the aging facility every month in accordance with an animal protection law. The company that has been feeding the creatures told officials that transferring them has been difficult.
A number of online petitions and campaigns to rescue Honey and her companions have been created since the release of the video from Dolphin Project, which itself has collected more than 36,000 signatures.
A petition on Change.org addressed to the Inubosaki Aquarium and the Chiba Prefectural Health and Welfare Department so far garnered over 66,000 signatures out of its 75,000 goal.