400 At Brussels Dolphin Demo

June 29, 2014 by Ric O’Barry
By Ric O’Barry
Director
Dolphin Project

A huge crowd of 400 showed up to protest dolphinaria in Europe and urge the European Union, based in Brussels, to ban the import of dolphins and end captivity.

We’ve made some progress in shutting down some of Europe’s dolphinariums, but we are now hopeful that the EU will act to protect dolphins in all European nations.

As you can see from the photos, a lot of people care deeply about dolphins!

Says Annelies Mullens of BITE BACK: “The purpose in protesters forming the word FREE was to demonstrate that by working together, we can be powerful enough to close all dolphinaria in Europe”.

A big thanks to Annelies Mullens and Yvon Godefroid, organizers of the demo, and also to La Dolphin Connection and BITE BACK, the organizations that made this event possible. Thanks also to Maria Heidemann, Midori Takahashi, Astrid Dickopf, Sasha Alazy and all the wonderful people who worked hard in order to make this demo the success it was.

 

 

Next up: I am heading to Stockholm for a big demonstration there at the Kolmården Zoo on Saturday, July 5th.

Yes, it is tiring to be traveling so much, but being with all these great people to help dolphins is a huge energy boost. And we are seeing progress for dolphins!

Thanks to all our friends in Europe!

 

 

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Demonstrators in Brussels spell out “FREE” for dolphins on Saturday.

 

Noted Annelies Mullens of BITE BACK:  “These photos say it all: alone we are small, but together we will make the difference!!!  FREE dolphins.  Every single person who came to the demo helped to make this happen.  We made huge and powerfull statement today towards the dolphinaria -industry.  Working together in a team as we did today with people from so many countries will help to end dolphin captivity.  THANK YOU!”

 

Photos by Takahashi Midori.

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About Ric O'Barry

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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.

Author: Ric O'Barry
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