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Hayden Panettiere in Tears After Dolphin Disaster

“Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere tried to be a real hero for a group of hunted dolphins in Japan, but the experience left the 18-year-old in tears.

Hayden and a group of animal rights activists flew to Japan to protest the annual killing of dolphins there, a common practice and Japanese custom.

The group paddled out to sea on surfboards, cameras in hand, to stop the dolphins from being herded into a cove and killed. But several irritated fisherman intercepted the group and used a boathook to push the surfers back, causing Hayden to retreat to shore.

“This baby stuck its head out and kind of looked as us, and the thought that the baby is no longer with us is very difficult,” Hayden said after reaching dry land, her voice cracking with emotion.

About 14,000 dolphins are killed for food in Japan annually.

Click on an image to view the HAYDEN PANETTIERE photo gallery!

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