Partial Victory: Sad and Lonely are Moved

By Ric O’Barry
Director
Dolphin Project

Sad and Lonely, the two spotted dolphins languishing in the smallest dolphin tank in the world in the Taiji Whale Museum, have been moved to a larger, open-air tank.

While the tank they are now in is not exactly huge, and lacks the stimulus of waves and natural seawater found in the sea pens, it is certainly better than the small dungeon they were locked in before.

A lot of the credit for this move is due to a mixed martial arts star, Enson Inoue, who has been visiting Taiji regularly to see for himself what the issues are around the dolphin drive hunts and captivity for dolphins.  Enson personally called the Mayor of Taiji about the problem of Sad & Lonely, and the mayor visited the Taiji Whale Museum’s smallest dolphin tank in the world to see for himself. 

Taiji’s Mayor Kazutaka Sangen saw to it that Sad & Lonely were moved this past week to the larger outdoor tank, and the Mayor has renamed the two dolphins Hope and Faith.  Let us indeed hope that they do better in this new tank.

We at Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project would like to thank Mayor Sangen for his taking the time to make the changes at the Taiji Whale Museum.  (The museum is owned by the town of Taiji.) 

Of course, Enson Inoue-san also deserves our most humble thanks for his efforts.   I have often stated that the plight of the dolphins will be up to the people of Japan to solve in the long run.   Enson appears to be taking the issues seriously.  He is a champion in more ways than one!

A big and warm thank you to all of YOU who signed our petition and have worked to end Sad and Lonely’s plight in the Taiji Whale Museum.  Sad and Lonely are not in a sea pen, much less free back into the waters of the Pacific Ocean, but things are better for them.

While handing out thanks, I want to also hand out a big “no thanks” to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).  WAZA took no action whatsoever to safeguard Sad and Lonely, despite the efforts of thousands of grassroots activists.  It really is sad.  The organization should be ashamed of itself.  They did nothing.  And the Taiji dolphin slaughter, subsidized by the captivity industry that WAZA claims to represent, will continue.

I am grateful to all who helped the Sad & Lonely effort and the larger effort of ending the dolphin slaughter, once and for all. 

Working together, we are making a major difference for dolphins.  Let us redouble our efforts in Japan and worldwide.

 

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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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