Hayden Panettiere | Real Life Dolphin Hero

hayden dolphin rescue 01 Hayden Panettiere | Real Life Dolphin Hero

She may play an indestructible cheerleader on the hit NBC show “Heroes”, but in real life Hayden Panettiere is just as fragile as the rest of us. And right now her heart’s broken over the slaughter of Japanese dolphins. You have to hand it to Hayden, who could be spending her valuable free time going to Starbucks with Britney or shopping with Paris. Instead she’s flying to Osaka, Japan and getting in the middle of a violent fracas with Japanese fisherman.

In Osaka to disrupt the city’s annual dolphin slaughter, the 18-year-old actress put her life on the line by jumping into the water and paddling out toward a pod of soon-to-be-eliminated dolphins. According to MSNBC, Hayden fought back tears when describing the event to “Access Hollywood”:

“I think a lot of us went out there with the thought that we were going to be very scared. And we knew that it was very possible to get hurt and it was very possible for us to get detained by police,” she said. “But we paddled out there and the fear just completely went away.”

hayden dolphin save 02 Hayden Panettiere | Real Life Dolphin Hero

hayden dolphin save 03 Hayden Panettiere | Real Life Dolphin Hero

Paddling on surfboards through water bloodied by already slaughtered animals, the actress, along with a group of American and Australian surfers, was attempting to form a memorial circle around a group of dolphins trapped in nets.

(via MSNBC) “They were so pretty. They were teddy bears in the water,” explained Panettiere. “They slowed down and started gathering in the net towards us. This little baby popped its head out and looked at us, and all of us just wanted to cut them out of the nets and set them free. I’d probably be in jail in Japan right now if I did.”

The group was quickly intercepted by a boat filled with angry fisherman who jabbed at them with hooks and tried to scare them away with the boat’s propeller. Hayden told “Access Hollywood” that, in a way, she wanted them to hit her because that would have increased the story’s impact.

But luckily for everyone but the dolphins, the protesters were safely returned to shore where a sobbing Panettiere was driven away,

Now THAT’s what I call a hero.

hayden dolphin save 04 Hayden Panettiere | Real Life Dolphin Hero



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