While doing research on the effort by the Georgia Aquarium to import more wild-caught beluga whales, and to increase the population of the belugas whales in the United States by more than 50 percent, I have found that some of the translation software out there results in pretty much garbage sometimes. I noticed this, too, during efforts to stop the dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.
So, it is with some not small relief that I tell you about a translation software that I think finally works. I want to show you the translation of the Georgia Aquarium’s blog about its intentions to import 18 beluga whales into the United States, which it published two days after the first news broke.
Here goes, the Georgia Aquarium’s text in italics, followed by the translation software’s version in bold text.
Georgia Aquarium Leads Conservation Efforts for Beluga Whales
Transl: Georgia Aquarium Leads Effort to Import more Wild-caught Captive Beluga Whales
Georgia Aquarium is taking a leadership role in the zoological community to conserve and protect beluga whales everywhere. The beluga whale is listed on the IUCN as a “near-threatened” species. Through the study and observation of belugas in human care, we continue to gain a better understanding of their biology, physiology and diseases that affect them, all with the goal of learning how we can help those populations in their natural habitats. Georgia Aquarium is proud to take a bold step to ensure the care and understanding of belugas in human care and in the wild. We recognize the immense knowledge and education that the study of these animals can provide, and we aim to inspire the public to conserve and protect the species.
Transl: The Georgia Aquarium leads a worldwide effort to increase the captive beluga whale population and wants the public to believe that it has something, anything to do with conservation of the species in the wild.
Transl: We once did the right thing by retrieving two very distressed beluga whales from horrid conditions, but now we want to do more than rescue belugas. We want to charge $169.95 for the honor of having an experience with an animal that was ripped from its wild life, its life with its family. And so we need more whales. If we don’t capture the beluga whales, all the beluga whales in the wild will disappear. The research that we just paid for showed that taking more beluga whales from the wild will not negatively impact the wild populations.
Me here: I’ll just point out very quietly from the corner, that those last two statements cannot logically coexist. I don’t think Billsy or the Georgia Aquarium understand that. Really? Okay, so I’m not surprised. I knew that they didn’t understand their impact on cetaceans, but now I also know that they don’t understand even logic. Don’t you need logic for scientific research? Jus sayin’.
As part of an initiative to maintain a sustainable population of belugas in human care, Georgia Aquarium supported an important research project to learn more about a population of animals from which whales have been collected by Russian scientists in the Sea of Okhotsk in northern Russia. This extensive body of research has been reviewed by our peers and validated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, also known as IUCN. In full accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, U.S. and international law, the bylaws of the zoological associations to which Georgia Aquarium belongs, Georgia Aquarium will acquire beluga whales which originated from the Sea of Okhotsk. In its review of the research, the IUCN found this acquisition will have zero negative impact on the native population.
Transl: We need the population of captive beluga whales in the United States to be stable and growing. We paid a lot of money to acquire research that would show that if we take more belugas from the wild, we won’t hurt the wild population’s stability. These laws give credibility to our position, but I hope no one reads them and finds out that we pretty much set our own standards, and the IUCN is pretty much toothless, so who cares what it says anyway.
We have applied for a permit to bring these animals to the United States. After we welcome the animals to the U.S., the whales will make their home at Georgia Aquarium and other leading accredited aquariums and zoological parks in North America and will become part of a collective breeding program among these institutions known as a Species Survival Plan. Georgia Aquarium is proud to take this bold step in beluga conservation and is excited to show our new belugas the same love and care that we give to all of our animals.
Transl: We really, really want to increase the number of captive beluga whales.
Please watch as Georgia Aquarium Chief Zoological Officer William Hurley explains more about our beluga conservation project.
Transl: Please watch our carefully scripted attempt to dig out of the hole caused by the AJC article.
You know the moment in The Wizard of Oz where the Cowardly Lion shares his vision of what he would do as King of the Forest? Well, the translation software reveals that my entire blog can be translated into, “I’d wrap ’em up in celephant.”
And to help stop this atrocity before it goes further, please sign the petition: