Save the whales, save the world? Former Heroes star Hayden Panettiere seems to think so. The 20 year-old's advocacy on behalf of the hunted whales of the world particularly in Japan surprised many who pegged her as merely a pretty young starlet. But in October 2007, sponsored by the Hawaii-based Whaleman Foundation, she joined other anti-whaling advocates of Sea Shepherd in their attempts to disrupt the annual whale hunt in the Japanese village of Taiji. The activists were quickly dispelled and kicked out of Japan, but the protest became part of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.
In 2008 she created the "Save the Whales, Again!" campaign and auctioned off dinner at a famous Hollywood restaurant and a date with her on a whale watching trip to raise money for the cause. It was briefly reported that there was a warrant for Panettiere's arrest in the village, but the Japanese government denied the claim. In March, she returned to Taiji to meet with local officials about their whaling practices. On June 23, during the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, heated talks over whether to limit whaling broke down without a resolution.