Canada Demo this Weekend!

Ric O’Barry and hundreds of activists are heading to Niagara Falls in Ontario this weekend to demonstrate on the seasonal opening day of one of the worst dolphinariums in the world:  Marineland.

A series of scathing articles last year in the Toronto Star, using interviews with former trainers and other employees, has painted a picture of wanton neglect and outrageous animal cruelty throughout the park.  Public demonstrations swelled from a handful of activists to hundreds of opponents of Marineland.

The owner, Jon Holler, reacted with lawsuits and more lawsuits.

You can read some of the articles here.

“There is no longer any excuse for the government of Canada to ignore the problems at Marineland,” says Ric O’Barry.  “These problems with animal care have been well-attested by knowledgeable trainers and staff members who have had the courage to speak out.  Action must now be taken to shut the facility down.”

We know, from repeated scientific work over the past decade, that dolphins are on par with humans in terms of their need for family connections, their cognitive abilities, and their behavior.  It is just wrong to keep these animals in captivity.

A group of high school students have put together a great video about the problems at Marineland as a school project:

 

 

The demonstration will be held in front of Marineland on Saturday, May 18th, from noon to 2 PM.

For more information, go to the demonstration info page

There will also be a special ceremony for Ric to receive a check from the Billie Celebrity Charity Challenge.  (Thanks to all of you who voted for Ric a couple of months ago!)

Rachel Larivee, one of the demo organizers and a Dolphin Project activist in Canada who has joined Ric in Tokyo to protest the Taiji dolphin hunts, stated:  “Saturday’s demonstration at Marineland is the first of this season – the big ‘kick-off’. My hope is that it ignites the fire within activists, new and seasoned, young and old, to remain present within this campaign and see it through to the end.  The finality comes when we collectively ‘shut it down’.”

Rachel added: “It’s important for all of us to realize, no matter what our role or level of activism, whether it be from behind a computer screen, sharing information to everyone you can, or coming to demonstrations: ALL acts are relevant and help support the issue. KEEP THE FLAME BURNING!”

Ric added: “It should have been closed long ago.“

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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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