Tsunami-stranded porpoise rescued from rice paddy 1.2 miles from coast
Ryo Taira rescues a young finless porpoise from a flooded rice paddy.
March 24th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

Tsunami-stranded porpoise rescued from rice paddy 1.2 miles from coast

A young finless porpoise was rescued this week from a flooded rice paddy in Ishinomaki, Japan - where it had apparently been dumped by the March 11 tsunami - and released into the ocean, according to news reports.

Pet-shop owner Ryo Taira told Reuters a motorist spotted the animal in a field two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the coast on Tuesday. The man called Taira, who has been coming to the aid of animal victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

Tairo said he waded into the field and grabbed the porpoise.

"It was pretty weak by then, which was probably the only reason we could catch it," Reuters quoted him as saying.

He wrapped the creature  in towels, took it to the ocean and released it, he said, because facilities to help ailing animals have been damaged or destroyed by the tsunami and quake, according to an Agence France Presse report on AsiaOne.com.

"I don't know if it will live, but it's certainly a lot better than dying in a rice paddy," Tairo told the Asahi Shimbun, according to the Reuters report.

Finless porpoises, distinguished by their lack of a dorsal fin, inhabit shallow coastal waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, according to marinebio.org.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Animals • Japan • World
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. K C

    I hope it survives. Or at least doesn't suffer for long. 🙁

    March 24, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. John in NY

    Talk about fresh sushi!

    March 24, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      I know education is lacking these days but porpoises are mammals, not fish.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlin

      Sushi isnt always fish.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonbo

      I know education is lacking these days, but sushi does not mean "fish". It refers to the vinegared rice.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ch33t0

      I know education is lacking these days, but sushi is sushi!

      March 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seth

      I know education is lacking these days, some people can sit down and post pointless comments on the net all day.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • RightCoast

      I know education is lacking these days....wait, what?

      March 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Q Public

      YAAAAAA!!!!! HOT DOG!!!!!

      March 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • naomi

      i know sushi is lacking these days, and that is why i am hungry.

      March 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thinking7

    A beautiful good deed for the day!

    March 24, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    I'm surprised they didn't kill them.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • hellmut

      Who are "they" and who is "them"???

      March 24, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar r

    Sorry Charlie, only the best tasting tuna get to be Star Kist.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. uncertainstance

    Well, thank God!

    March 24, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. petsRfun

    Tairo you are my hero. Marry me Sweetheart! And I'm not kidding! How do I find this wonderful guy?

    March 24, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Dover

      Desperate much?

      March 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bree

      you posted that you wanted to find the pet shop owner who helped the porpoise. why don't you send an email to the reporter who did the story and ask them how you can find the guy you are interested in? the reporter did the story. the reporter knows how to find him. the reporter know what city he lives in, knows the name of his pet shop, knows if he is single or married. the reporter can answer a lot of your questions and point you in the right direction.

      I hope this helps. good luck to you. if things work out the reporter can take credit and do a story on it.

      March 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. petsRfun

    and whoever called this little porpoise "fresh sushi".....a higher power will deal with you.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • So What!!


      March 24, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      That and your previous are some of the stupidest things I've ever read on here, and there have been a whole lot of stupid things in CNN comments. It's like many of you live in a fantasy world.

      It's great that someone rescued that animal and gave it a chance, and I agree that the obvious joke by the other guy was a little bit insensitive. However...

      Food is probably scarce over there right now, and I'm thinking that animal would feed a starving family for at least a week. Given the choice of feeding hungry children, and giving that animal a slim chance of surviving, I know which one I would take. Please pass the A1.

      Poupoise are not human.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bam

      ah a victim of the 12 steps program,,,, the higher power....

      March 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. So What!!

    Oh, Thank God! I'm just so thankful that this one porpoise was "rescued". It would have simpy been an unthinkable tragedy if it hadn't survived. I'm even more thankful that CNN chose to report on it because there's no doubt, this certainly IS news worth.

    Almost makes me forget about the 1000's and 1000's of human beings that lost THEIR lives. All the homes and villages and towns utterly destroyed. All the loved ones lost. All the people living in shelters. The 100 or so men who likely will die because of their efforts in trying to control the Nuke reactors.

    Yep, one "rescued" porpoise. That's all it takes.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You seem to be working awfully hard at being hostile and unpleasant today.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC Croft

      I think in a horrible situation like this, every shred of positivity is a blessing and every example of humans showing kindness is a beacon of light. I don't want to always read just the sad things. And I think there might be a point of if a man is willing to go out of his way to help this porpoise, maybe there is a lot more good being done that we will never know about.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sammy

      So because people are dying we don't care about animals too? Some people like to be helpful when there is a tragedy (others like to troll the blogs and say snarky things). Since Mr. Taira may not be a nuclear engineer, a fireman, or a doctor, he was helping in his own way. What have you done today to make the world a little better today?

      If you don't care, don't read the article, but seems you judge him rather harshly.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      We all know about the human toll already. How many times do you need to read about it? If you haven't heard it enough, pick up some old newspapers and read them again. This is something different, and I have no problem hearing about it. We haven't forgotten about the humans, we're just multi-tasking here.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Oh I see! You're special. You know what every news organization should report on. Wow you must be a millionaire media mogul! We are all very happy to see you take time out of your busy day to not only read an article that is not news worthy but to also spend the time to tell us all how it's not news worthy. CNN should ONLY report on tragedies, never on anything positive. Thank you so much for your insightful comments. When you finally move out of your mom’s basement please feel free to come back and tell us again which stories CNN should and should not print.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      I agree 100%. Why is this even a news story? There are TONS of more important stories that should be reported on. At least PETA will be happy with the story. Congratulations CNN.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Oh shut up already. There's plenty of coverage of this tragedy and the loss of life. No one is denying the horror of what people are enduring right now. What's wrong with a tiny flicker of happiness in all this?

      March 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      @ Justin... name ONE "more important" story that should be reported on that CNN hasn't already.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      There's plenty of news about the people. You seem to think that news articles are a limited commodity and we shouldn't dare waste any text on something other than human beings. I suppose you attack anyone who dares to support animal charities rather than human ones too? What about people who support animal charities as well as people?

      March 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BB

      Why don't you blow it out your blowhole. Saving the porpoise doesn't mean anyone is forgetting about the humans who died (along with the scores of animals who likely died, too). And why not report an act of kindness directed toward a creature who wasn't able to stand up and walk out of the rice paddy like a human could.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • shaleefa

      PETA wont be happy. they dont want us taking animals out of their natural environment. what is more natural than a tsunami u\induced by an earthquake washing a poor porpoise ashore. peta is probably going to find this man and harass him to death.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • So What!!

      Ok, so maybe it was a rather a$$-hole comment to make. I'm not poking fun at this dude in the photograph. The point I was making, and the thing that irks me is that barely a week went by and we started hearing about the "orphaned" animals, and how the money being given to "rescue" the animals was already pouring in. C'mon. Can we not just stay focused and "on task" for even a little while before we turn away from the human tragedy and start worrying about the animals. The animals will survive. That's what animals do....they survive. And, NO, if you put me on the spot I'll tell you, I don't think one dead porpoise is anything to lose sleep over. There are 1000s more, all EXACTLY alike. Nothing special about them. But, one dead mom, or dad, or child special. They're all unique. And I think it dishonors them just a little when we read stupid stories about how ONE animal was "rescued" when so many people have lost SO MUCH. It's like.....big friggin deal. You mean to tell me that we coudn't have replaced this "good" story with an equally good story about a PERSON that was rescued.

      Get off my case!!!!!

      March 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Koblo

      You know what, So What??? It was a feel good story among all this tragedy. Get a grip. @ Joe, I don't think So What has to try very hard at being hostile and unpleasant. My money says he/she is like that every day.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      So What!!... If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Why yesterday on CNN I read about a baby that was rescued. Happy now?

      March 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • rellasmom

      sometimes we all need a little "good" news during a horrible situation!

      March 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      @PAUL.........How about U.S. troops that are being killed EVERY day? To me that is a more important new story!! I would much rather hear them being honored or spoken about in some way than a stranded porpoise.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I agree with the rest of those that think you over-reacted. Nothing wrong with a heart warming story in the middle of such tragedy.

      But I would have found it just as heart warming if the porpoise was used to feed people at a shelter. I have a feeling that petsRfun and many others on here would condemn such an action and play the "higher power" card against that, too. Afterall, he/she wanted to marry the guy.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geroge

      There are 7 billion humans on the planet. The global population of saltware finless porpoises is a tiny, tiny fraction of that. The life of a single finless porpoise is worth the lives of tens of thousands of humans. That's an objective fact. Deal with it.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      @Justin... there is a special section on CNN dedicated to the war casualties, which in fact DO NOT happen every day. www .cnn. com/ SPECIALS/ war.casualties/index. html (remove the spaces so the link works, can't post links here)

      March 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJ - ATL

      I couldn't agree more. Only better would be if Charlie Sheen had saved the poor animal.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      You assume that there are "1000s more EXACTLY alike." That's an ignorant statement, and you should research your facts before making knowledge based statements. There are almost 7 BILLION humans in this world and even if 1 MILLION die, that's a tiny fraction of the entire population. In animal species, such as the Florida Panther which has less than 100 TOTAL animals, if 1 animal dies, that's more detrimental to the species than 1 MILLION humans dying. Some finless porpoises are listed as endangered, and some have gone extinct... so no, not "so what!" You make the statement that someone's mom, dad, baby, etc dies it is tragic.. are you forgetting that animals have that mother, father, baby connection? Are you also forgetting that humans are also animals? You say an animal can survive, that's what animals do.. so you're saying humans can't survive? That means humans are less than animals because we can't survive and other animals can? All of your statements are idiotic and quite simply an embarrassment to the mentality of the human race.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • lesley

      You got it right, the only balanced comment here, Mr. Tairo is doing what he can to help, since he is a pet shop owner, he has an afinity for animals anyway. Also a very nice photo, would the rest of you drive by and leave this animal to die if you could help it?

      March 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC Croft

      @ So What!!! – I've seen quite a few stories about humans being rescued... Sorry if you haven't seen them, but they are out there. There was a beautiful story about a baby who was rescued and both her parents are miraculously alive as well. Babies, the elderly – definite heroics and miracles happening to the people as well. And like I said in my previous comment, if kindness is being shown to animals in a tragedy like this, than what kindnesses are being shown between people that we may never hear of? Kindness is always a good thing.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • kunter

      While the life of this creature was not preferred over any human life or any magical nuke control efforts, we do need to embrace every single positivity and good deeds in the name of the same humanity.

      March 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. uncertainstance

    @So What!! I think the way I said it was funnier.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Flora

    "How far that little candles throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a weary world." As true now as it was when Shakespeare penned those words. Thank you for taking the time to help an innocent, Mr. Taira.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    Thanks. I'll take what ever little bit of positive news I can get out of this disaster.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. coder

    thank you Tairo

    March 24, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar r

    We need a little light news to survive. Thanks Brad, there is enough sad news to last a long time. Don't listen to "So What" I'm sure he is a nice guy, but how about a break.

    March 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert Larsson

    10,000 people dead. 13,000 people missing. $300 billion in damages. Hundreds of villages and towns wiped out. Probably millions of animals (domesticated and wild) dead. And CNN is reporting on one porpoise as one of their top news stories?


    March 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • BB

      Yes really, along with the TONS of reporting about the 10,000 people who died, 13,000 who are missing and the $300 billion in damages. You act as though it's mutually exclusive – that CNN cannot report good news bits at the same time it's reporting the bad news bits.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC Croft

      Why does the news have to only be about the sadness? Why can't kindness and good be talked about and shared as well. There is enough negativity in our own every day lives, nevermind when something as traumatic as this occurs. I will take a story showing such beautiful gentility any day. You are right that the sad needs to be reported as well, but it is. Everywhere. Accept goodness when you can find it, you might feel a little less sad over all.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
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