“I Am Responsible” – Forestry Minister
By Ric O’Barry
In my previous blog on our event in Jakarta, Indonesia, I mentioned that there were a lot of reporters in the audience who heard the Minister of Forestry, Dr. M.E. Zulkifli Hasan, state that the traveling dolphin circuses, which so abuse dolphins, were illegal.
I’m pleased to say that since time the media picked up his remarks and repeated them for the entire world to see.
We plan to meet with the Minister tomorrow, before I head home to Miami. It is in his best interest and the best interest of the Indonesian people to help us seize these dolphins from the circus and return them to the wild. It will be a big win-win for all (but especially for the dolphins).
Here is an example of the media comments, an article in detickNews. (We apologize for some of the wording, which was done by a computer translation program.)
Forestry Minister: I am Responsible If There Was Dolphin Circus
By Ahmad Juwari – detikNews
Jakarta – Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan will be fully responsible for the persistence of the associated circus dolphins in Indonesia. Zulkifli also will assist the NGO to the release of dolphins to the wild.
“It’s illegal, I will assist in ending it. Notify us if any dolphins move (for circus). We are responsible if there is any road show,” said Zulkifli.
It was said when answering a question of Zulkifli by loving dolphin activist Richard O Barry and participants’ Dolphin Protection “at @ america, Pacific Place, Jakarta, Tuesday (01/05/2013).
The event was also attended by U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel, loving dolphin activist Richard O’Barry and from the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Femke den Haas.
“If you see things like that, I will be in front putting a halt to this,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel noted that the government is not moving enough. Public participation is highly expected that the dolphins be not exploited.
The Indonesian Forestery Minister, Dr. Zulkifli Hasan (in the purple shirt) speaks with reporters during the dolphin presentation.
“The public must help the government to save the dolphins,” he said.
The event, which took place under tight security, ran smoothly. In addition to discussions with the speakers, also interspersed with a documentary film about exploitation of dolphins.
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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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