Hong Kong Airlines Grounds Plan to Ship Kidnapped Dolphins
Airline chooses basic decency over bottom-line profits.
By Salvatore Cardoni
(NOTE: Our friend Sal Cardoni of Take Part, which has been a big supporter of our efforts to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, reports on a huge win for dolphin lovers. Congratulations to all the grassroots groups and individuals that worked to turn Hong Kong Airlines around, especially the Save Misty the Dolphin Facebook group. I will be in Hong Kong in a couple of weeks screening The Cove movie and talking to the public and media about dolphins in captivity, as Hong Kong is a major entry port to China for captive dolphins from Taiji and the Solomon Islands. For the moment, take the time to thank Hong Kong Airlines. – Ric O’Barry)
Under pressure from activists, Hong Kong Airlines has agreed to stop the transfer of live dolphins on its cargo planes, according to a company statement released today.
The about face comes just six days after the social media campaign Save Misty the Dolphin launched an online petition, “Stop Profiting from the Misery of the Taiji Dolphins,” which obtained more than 6,400 signatures.
To send a thank you note to Hong Kong Airlines for doing the right thing:
Corporate Communications Manager
Hong Kong Airlines
20 Tat Tung Road
Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong
Here is a copy of the statement by Hong Kong Airlines:
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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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