A Thank You Letter to Mayor Sangen of Taiji
By Ric O’Barry
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
We sent the following letter last week to thank Mayor Sangen of Taiji for his effort to move Sad and Lonely from their cramped indoor tank to an outdoor tank with more room:
April 11, 2012
Mayor Kazutaka Sangen
Taiji-cho Town Hall
I am writing on behalf of DolphinProject.net and the many thousands of people around the globe who signed our online petition for the two dolphins, Sad and Lonely, in the Taiji Whale Museum.
I wish to thank you for taking the time to look into the matter of these two dolphins. While we would prefer that they be released back into the wild where they belong, we appreciate that you moved them to a more suitable environment.
I have expressed our thanks publicly online on our Dolphin Project blog:
As always, it’s our hope that we can find more areas of common ground that will ultimately lead to the end to the killing of innocent dolphins, whose meat is horribly toxic and unsafe for people to eat. We have a proven track record of working with local governments around the world to bring about change and have always held out the utmost faith that we could someday do the same in Taij.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
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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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