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Devoted animal lover Hayden Panettiere joined a group of activists protesting a dolphin hunt in Japan yesterday — and got in a shouting and shoving match with Japanese fishermen.

The Heroes hottie, along with six activists from the anti-whaling animal rights group Sea Shepherd, attempted to interfere with a dolphin hunt off the coast of Taiji in southwestern Japan. Fishermen approached the boat carrying Panettiere and shoved some of the activists with long poles and shouted in the face of the protesters.

Panettiere was visibly upset over the experience. “This baby [dolphin] stuck its head out and kind of looked at us, and the thought that the baby is no longer with us is very difficult,” she said.

According to Hideki Moronuki, chief of the whaling section at the Japanese Fisheries Agencies, “Whales and dolphins are traditionally being used (as resources) in Japan. In this light, we cannot accept an argument simply based on emotional causes.”

Around 14,000 dolphins are killed in Japan each year.

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