Dolphin Shows are Illegal in Greece


June 24, 2014 by Ric O’Barry

By Ric O’Barry
Dolphin Project


Shows that feature animals are banned in Greece, with the exception of some domestic animals like horses.

But the Attika Zoo still has dolphin shows, every day, several times a day.  The Zoo gets around the law by marketing the dolphin show as “an educational experience”.

We are here to expose the lie and stop the dolphin shows once and for all.  I’m in Greece joined by a number of outstanding Greek activists and a number of Cove monitors (we are having something of a reunion, in fact, of those who have joined me in Taiji in the past).



We met with the Minister of Environment on Monday.  He told us he would look into the matter tomorrow.  Our Greek colleagues will meet with the minister again in two weeks to discuss our proposal to ban captive dolphin displays in Greece in accordance with the law.

We are encouraged.

We’ve also been active in special screenings of The Cove and other efforts to educate the Greek public about dolphins and how captivity is not good for these marine mammals.  There has been some discussion of eventually establishing a dolphin sanctuary here – a place in the ocean where the dolphins can go back to being dolphins instead of doing stupid circus tricks.  Some dolphins may be eligible for rehabilitation and release, although many were born in captivity.
My thanks to our Greek friends for some amazing Mediterranean hospitality.

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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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