What are Hectors Dolphins And Why Are They Endangered?

hectors dolphins 01 What are Hectors Dolphins And Why Are They Endangered?

There are plenty of things I didn’t know about the Hector’s dolphin. In fact, until recently, my only knowledge of them was the most troubling fact of all – that they’re among the rarest dolphins in the world. But seeing as how I’ve always been fascinated by these amazing creatures, I wanted to know more. And more importantly, I wanted to learn something less troubling about them. And what, if anything, we can do to help them.

Found only off the coast of New Zealand, the Hector’s dolphin was named for Sir James Hector (1834-1907), the curator of what is now the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand. The most influential local scientist of his time, Hector was the first to examine this particular species of indigenous dolphin. Primarily grey, black and white with a distinctive stripe running across its belly, this cetacean (air breathing, water living mammal) is the smallest dolphin in New Zealand’s waters and is most recognizable by its lack of discernible beak and its round dorsal fin. (The fins of New Zealand’s other dolphin species are pointed and crescent shaped.)

There are only an estimated 7,400 in left in the entire world

Aside from their beauty and playfulness – if you’ve ever watched dolphins, you can sense how much fun they’re having playing in the surf and exploring the shallow water – what has always fascinated me is the built in sonar they use to track down their prey. Using echolocation (seeing with sound), they send out streams of high frequency noises that travel through the water, bounce quickly off moving objects and then back, easily identifying what sort of fish is out there, where it is and how quickly it’s traveling. Incredible.

hectors dolphins 03 What are Hectors Dolphins And Why Are They Endangered?

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A Real Life Whale Super Hero Hayden Panettiere

hayden whales 002 A Real Life Whale Super Hero Hayden Panettiere

Upon seeing a website called “Panettiere’s Closet”, I thought the young actress/activist was planning to make an announcement about her personal life. But according to my favorite news source, Star Magazine, it seems the “Heroes” hottie and Milo Ventimiglia are still going strong.

So, what exactly is in Hayden’s closet? Items she’s worn to award shows (and some still-wrapped items she hasn’t) that she’s selling to aid her “fight to raise awareness about the threats dolphins and other whales face worldwide.”

hayden whales 003 A Real Life Whale Super Hero Hayden Panettiere

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Arrest Warrant For Hayden Panettiere

hayden panettiere bikini Arrest Warrant For Hayden Panettiere

Just when you thought the Hayden Panettiere dolphin brouhaha was finally coming to a halt, word comes from Japan that a warrant has been issued for the “Heroes” star’s arrest. Her crime: protesting the annual dolphin slaughter and revealing the secret location of their helplessly netted and soon-to-be-killed creatures.

Not to downplay the seriousness of the situation, but if an 18-year-old actress from Los Angeles can fly to Osaka and find this “secret location”, how hidden can it be? And what good will come from throwing her in jail? Will it deter other TV stars from joining up with Save The Whales? Or will it just continue to draw attention to Japan’s annual (and secret) dolphin slaughter?

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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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