Save the Dolphin: Hayden Panettiere in Violent Protest

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She may not be indestructible like her kick-ass TV persona, but Heroes cheerleader Hayden Panettiere is trying to save the world in her own way, and we commend her for it.

The 18-year-old actress was involved in a confrontation with Japanese fishermen this week as she tried to disrupt a dolphin slaughter that takes place annually.

A Pretty Panettiere Pic

Along with five other marine activists, Hayden paddled out on a surfboard to reach a pod of dolphins to stop them from being driven into a nearby cove and killed.

But the six surfers, from Australia and the United States, were intercepted by a fishing boat before they could reach the dolphins.

The fishermen used the boat's propellers to block their way and at one point struck out at Hayden Panettiere and company with a boathook.

It was an ugly, potentially life-threatening confrontation that lasted more than 10 minutes before the surfers were forced to return to the beach.

It is believed that the dolphins were later taken into the cove and killed.

A keen surfer and committed marine conservationist who is a supporter of the campaign to save Japan's dolphins, Hayden Panettiere said:

"It was really frightening. Some of us were hit by the boathook. But in the end all we really worried about was the dolphins. It was so incredibly sad. We were so close to them and they were sky hopping, jumping out of the water to see us."

Breaking down in tears, the Heroes starlet added: "One little baby dolphin stuck his head out of the water and kinda looked at me and the thought that it's no longer with us is really hard to take."

Following the incident, the surfers drove straight to Osaka airport and left the country to avoid arrest by the Japanese national police.

All would have been charged with criminal trespassing, but Hayden Panettiere is now back in Los Angeles on the set of her hit TV series.

More than 22,000 dolphins are slaughtered by fishermen in Japan every year. The hunt continues despite worldwide condemnation.

In Taijie, more than 2,000 are killed in a season. Many Japanese believe dolphins should be treated like fish. They have been hunting the mammals for centuries and see criticism of this as an attack on their culture.

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The Japanese don't eat the dolphins. They kill them because they eat the fish. And the Japanese attacked her first so they are wrong! I support Hayden! SAVE THE DOLPHINS SAVE THE WORLD!

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Hayden and her companions are true heroes. I think that slautering animals in such a way as they do today is very wrong. They shouldnt be killing poor dolphins like that! Each dolphin has a life, like we do, and they should be treated the same!

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First of all its important to note that we do the exact same thing the Japanese do. We slaughter animals to feed our masses as well, chickens, fish, cows, and all other types of animals are raised just for the purpose of killing them later. The problem I have isnt they are killing the dolphins, if i were protesting that I would be a hypocrite the next time I ate a hamburger because of what had to happen to get it. I protest the way it is done, there have got to be more humane ways. Its funny how people feel so self-righteous so easily when we, in fact are doing the same thing, just not in the public eye.

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Hayden is a true hero. Butchering intelligent creatures is like murder. It has to be stopped. It makes you wonder if the Japs deserved to be bombed without remorse in WWII.

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Mike is an IDIOT. Maybe someone should slaughter him.

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The Greatness of a Nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
-Mahatma Gandhi To be so savaged to any life is horrible. I respect all of your opinion even if you disagree but at least don't sound like a idiot when you make them (i.e. cursing & wishing someone ill will). People do have a right to express them in words & in protest. So Stop Hating!!!

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What a bunch of morons. Pity they weren't arrested.

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mike- you are heartless. rude, and have no respect for others. and you should be able to make a point without cursing. didn't you ever watch flipper? dolphins are amazing and intelligent. unlike you.

Hayden Panettiere Biography

Hayden: InStyle UK Photo Hayden Panettiere is a pretty and talented young star. You might know her from Heroes, though she has also starred in more than a dozen... More »
Born
Birthplace
Palisades, New York
Full Name
Hayden Leslie Panettiere