Campaign Saving Marcos
By Ric O’Barry
Every time a dolphin gets in trouble, anywhere in the world, my phone rings.
Just last week, another call came in, and the dolphin trail called me once again. That is why I now find myself in Almerimar, Spain.
People from a Spanish grassroots organization, called PROMAR, alerted me to the plight of a baby, striped dolphin. They have named him Marcos. He was discovered close to shore near Roquetas de Mar and was clearly not in good health. While PROMAR speculates that perhaps his pod was killed, or he simply lost his way due to his illness, we may never know the cause of Marcos’ isolation.
Thankfully, PROMAR volunteer staff were quick to act, and they placed him in a sea pen in a sheltered bay in order to rehabilitate and release him. They have been watching him night and day, sometimes pulling all-night shifts to ensure his safety, making sure he stayed at the surface where he could breathe. He has been in their care for more than three months now. Needless to say, we all want to see Marcos make a full recovery and return to his ocean home!
They knew of my work, so I postponed my trip to Japan and canceled my Thanksgiving plans for Hawai’i and headed for Spain.
I’m here to help make sure that the remainder of the rehab is done as well as we can do and that the release is ultimately successful. The PROMAR volunteers have done such an incredible job so far; I am here to help and guide them. Since I’ve done this a few times before, I know what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid.
Please stay tuned for more updates about Marcos. Dolphin Project, PROMAR, and I are in this for the long haul.
For more information about PROMAR, please visit their Facebook page and follow them @DolphinMarcos, and #SavingMarocs and #Tweet4Dolphins. Marcos and PROMAR’s volunteers rely on support from generous and supportive people like you, so please take a moment if you can to donate to help cover costs.
Ric and the PROMAR team in the medical tent.
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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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