Fair warning: The following images are incredibly disheartening. Divers recently exploring the waters near the remote island of Kokoya, Indonesia, were shocked to find large sea creatures chained underwater, trapped inside small cages. The animals, dugongs, are known as “underwater cows” because of their size.
Can you imagine being trapped in a tiny cage your entire life, perhaps not even being able to turn around? The sad reality is that many animals live like this because of the way humans treat them.
They were even held in separate cages rather than allowed to keep each other company.
Apparently the animals were captured by a local fisherman who hoped to turn the caged animals into a tourist attraction. The individual said, “He asked for some money if we want to see the dugong or take a picture.” He added that the divers could take photos and videos in the cage with the mother if they wanted to.
One of the divers, Delon Lim, explained, “The ropes are worn and torn. The scars and the wound on her tail are so deep. It was very heartbreaking.”
They then tried to convince him to release the animals. “When we left the island, the fisherman agreed to release them,” Lim said. However, he and the other divers weren’t confident he would actually free them, so they took to social media in hopes of creating enough backlash to compel him to do so.
The following photos were taken by the divers and posted on social media:
You can watch the video they took of the underwater trapped creatures here.
Only a few hours after the video was posted online, the wildlife authorities contacted them asking for the precise location of the animals. The next day, the authorities set the animals free.
This is an incredible example of how one person can make a huge difference. This diver saw what was happening to these poor creatures and decided to stand up for them and ensure that they get the freedom they deserve.
This is also a wonderful example of how powerful social media and the internet can be. What we post online has the power to reach so many people all over the world, and it’s proof that simply educating one another and informing people can make tangible, positive changes in the world.
That being said, it’s time that we put an end to all animal cruelty. Though this is a horrible example, other terrible acts of violence are being committed against animals all over the world every single second of the day. Factory farming, zoos, the fashion industry, restaurants, other animal attractions, and many other industries all contribute to animal cruelty.
I encourage you to ask yourselves: Do we not, as compassionate beings, have a duty to protect other species?