Saving Dolphins in Singapore and the Philippines
By Ric O’Barry
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
This is a story about grassroots efforts to help some dolphins in two countries, the Philippines and Singapore, and the work that Dolphin Project is doing to help coordinate and support these efforts.
The story actually begins in the Solomon Islands and the international dolphin traffickers Chris Porter and Francis Chow, who sent more than two dozen wild dolphins to the Philippines to be trained for Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.
Originally, 27 dolphins were shipped from the Solomon Islands to wind up at Tim Desmond’s Ocean Adventure facility in the Philippines in late 2009 and early 2010. At last count, there were only 25 dolphins still alive from the original shipment – captivity is not kind to wild dolphins. Resorts World in Singapore is paying large sums to store and train these dolphins in the Philippines.
Louis Ng of the Animals Concerns and Research & Education Society (ACRES) in Singapore began protests the import of these blood dolphins from the Philippines for Resorts World.
Louis and his cohorts have built a major campaign to stop the dolphin import. He recently held a major press conference and also prepared a great YouTube song:
This is where I come in – Louis worked with me to draft a letter to Resorts World, which journalist Sandra Davie had published this past Sunday in the Singapore newspaper Straits Times. You can see Sandra’s story here:
You can read my letter here:
Basically, we are asking Resorts World to help return these dolphins to the ocean in the Solomon Islands where they belong.
All of these brave local people and their small, but feisty local organizations, working together, can be a powerful force for dolphins.
If you would like to help ACRES with their campaign, go here:
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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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