Latest Report from Taiji from Tim and Carrie

By Ric O’Barry

 

Among our dedicated volunteers is the husband and wife team of Tim and Carrie Burns from Florida.  They saw The Cove movie and knew they had to take action, and so they both joined me and 50 other volunteers in Tokyo last September 1st.  After our Tokyo events, Tim and Carrie visited Taiji, getting a good feel for the place.

Tim and Carrie just arrived back in Taiji as we greet 2011.  They lost their luggage (but it finally caught up with them), and the temperature was way below freezing, but they brought themselves and their love for the dolphins to be in Taiji to remind the fishermen that the world is watching.

Tim and Carrie report that no dolphin killing has occurred in Taiji over the past 15 days, apparently with the fishermen taking time off as a holiday from going out on a daily basis searching for dolphins to kill.   They believe the fishermen are getting ready to go out in the next day or two, and the slaughter will continue then.

But more tragedy continues to stalk Taiji.  Tim Burns reports about a dolphin he and other activists named “Misty”:

“Three days ago, we all started filming a dolphin in a separate tank at Dolphin Base, where the captive dolphins are being held in Taiji.  The dolphin appears to be very sick.  The footage we helped take is all over the net now.  The dolphin was named Misty by everyone.  Yesterday we actually talked to the Vet about the dolphin and found out that it is a male, with a bacterial infection, and had to be separated.  The vet told us he was scared of us, which would explain why he called the police on us earlier today.  I think we did a pretty good job putting him at ease.  He talked with us for about 20 minutes.”

You can see the sad footage of Misty in his pool here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9CLbla3dcU

Tim reports that Misty was moved last night out of his tank, which was slick all over with green algae.  “The condition of the tank was horrible,” he reports.  Misty has apparently been moved to a slightly bigger tank with other dolphins. The footage of moving Misty is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk4sYX9Bol8

Another good friend of dolphins, Barbara Napoles, has established an online petition asking for rehab and release of Misty:

http://animals.change.org/petitions/view/save_misty_the_dolphin

As long as we continue to allow the catching of dolphins for captivity, there will be far too many Mistys in tanks around the world.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is responsible for their own members – they need to kick aquariums out that do not treat dolphins well and that subsidize the dolphin drive hunts in Taiji and other places.  But they won’t take action.

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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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