Tourists Take Selfies With Dead Whales After Slaughter
Warning: Some may find the following content distressing.
A legal hunting tradition that takes place in Denmark's Faroe Islands was caught on camera last week - and the photos are hard to stomach.
The sea turned red as the whales were drove towards the shore by fishing boat before being killed in the water.
The whales are killed for their meat and blubber, a centuries-old tradition that helps feel the population of the remote Atlantic island over winter.
Unbelievably, it was the 10th whale hunt of its kind in the Faroe Islands this year, with 536 pilot whales slaughtered in total.
Once the hunt was over, the corpses of the dead mammals were lined up on the beach, where young children looked over them and tourists took photos meters from the dead whales.
Photos were captured by charity Sea Shepherd UK, who got a tip the hunt - known locally as a grind - was due to take place.
"Over the course of the lengthy drive more and more members of the public and tourists could be seen stopping along the coastline to watch the family of pilot whales struggle and resist," said a spokesperson for the charity.
"As is often the case, the grind was swiftly becoming a social event with parents laughing and chatting as children played on the killing beach.
"The level of excitement was clearly growing as anticipation of the brutality came closer, epitomising the social aspect of the grind was the sight of a youth group - possibly a guides or scout group - sat eagerly watching and waiting."
They added: "Grind participants ran cheering into the pod to start attaching ropes and pulling individuals out to begin slaughtering.
"Though, as usual, the 'humane' process of killing the pilot whales was far from it, with multiple unsuccessful attempts to paralyse the with the lance were observed on a number of the pod.
"Having previously observed other pilot whale drives our crew noted that this pod had clearly been worn out or resigned to their fate as little to no cries were heard from the pod.
"As the family were laid out on the docks the all too familiar and disturbing images of children jumping on and playing with the dead could be seen.
"As the process continued crew witnessed one juvenile being laid out to be butchered and the harrowing sight of one unborn calf being cut from their mother's womb.
"Our crew learnt from one participant that the unborn are not eaten and would later be 'returned to the sea', an eloquent way of saying their bodies will be unceremoniously dumped.
"The Faroese often talk of the tradition behind the grindadrap and specifically the respect shown to the pilot whales.
"Video and photographs from the 10th grind of 2019 clearly show this not to be the case, with images of people and tourists taking selfies with the murdered pod.
"Children were playing with fins, kicking and punching the bodies, walking on them and worryingly seen running around the dock carrying the traditional knives that are used as part of the grindadrap."
In September 2018, Sea Shepherd UK offered the Faroe Islands one million euros to stop whale hunts for 10 consecutive years, which they did not accept.
Featured Image Credit: Triangle News