As we have reported before, heavywight boxer Vitali Klitschko has made efforts to help stray animals in Kiev. His younger brother Wladimir recently joined his girlfriend, American actress Hayden Panettiere, who is a committed marine activist, in an action to save dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Panettiere has been involved in actions in Taiji with the organisation Sea Shepherd for a few years now.
In an annual hunt that lasts from October to April, dolphins are caught for meat and to be sold to delphinariums. The official number of dolphins caught in 2007 was 1,623, but unofficial estimates say it could be as many as 23,000.
Besides humans and other great apes, whales, pigs, octopi, elephants and crows, dolphins are one of the most intelligent animal species in the world, and probably the most intelligent aquatic animals.
In a silent protest, Hayden and Wladimir laid out a giant silhouette of a dolphin on the beach outside Taiji. Then they attempted to meet the mayor, but were met by outraged locals outside. The Ukrainian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reports that "Klitschko did not use his fists to protect his girlfriend against the offenders. Apparently the tiny but courageous actress was fully capable of standing up for herself."
One could question why an American animal rights activist doesn't look at "her own backyard" and focus on, for example, factory farming or animal testing in the USA, where slavery, torture and mass murder is carried out in an even more gruesome scale. But other animals than humans arguably don't care about human-made national boundaries. And if you have a special affection for dolphins, it makes sense to fight for dolphins anywhere in the world.
Anyway, this story is a perfect excuse to post some nice photos of Wladimir Klitschko (found in the extensive collection of sunshinetrue):
The following vintage-style photos are from the cute book Unser Fitnessbuch ("Our Fitness Book") by Vitali and Wladimir, where they present simple exercises for everybody to keep in shape.
Above: young Wladimir. Below are some childhood photos:
Vitali, their grandma(?) and Wladimir
Vitali and Wladimir
Wladimir's school photo