A Donation of Billboards, Down Under, for Save Japan Dolphins
Ric and team get calls and emails from around the globe from supporters with ideas and initiative to make unique contributions to our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign. While we are always heartened by offerings both big and small, occasionally there is a proposal that simply ‘blows us all out of the water.’
One such overture arrived this fall from Norfolk Island. Megan Fitzpatrick, who watches dolphins from her island home tucked in the Pacific between New Zealand and Australia, emailed after viewing The Cove. She was on fire with an idea about how she could make a difference.
Amazingly, she had both funded and manifested the major project seamlessly within weeks of contacting us and getting our enthusiastic go-ahead.
Megan designed graphically compelling, traffic-stopping billboards, that encouraged people to visit our Save Japan Dolphins website to help end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. She brought her brother Geoff Corlis onboard, who works for oOHmedia in Australia. oOHmedia agreed to donate more than $200,000 of advertising space for billboards in four prime locations in both Sydney and Brisbane. Megan then secured a sponsor, Kerry Douran, owner of Hillcrest Hotel on Norfolk Island, to cover the costs of all art printing and billboard installations.
The billboards were displayed for more than a month this fall. They attracted many new Australian supporters and offers for further publicity for our campaign. Megan wrote, “I am also pleased to advise that oOHmedia has received many phones calls from the public in regards to the billboards—so they are also very happy!”
Megan, who describes herself as an “everyday person”, has demonstrated that someone with passion and a vision can make an extraordinary contribution.
Ric and our Save Japan Dolphins Team extend heartfelt thanks to Megan, her brother Jeff Corlis and oOHmedia, and sponsor Kerry Douran for their creative collaboration and generosity to benefit the dolphins.
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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$.
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