Four Days of Hell in Taiji

The last few days here in Taiji have been a living nightmare. It’s hard to “come home from work” from the Cove and simply go to sleep at night. How the hell is one supposed to do that when my mind won’t turn off.

Photo of The Cove courtesy

Photo of The Cove courtesy

The horrific scenes I’ve witnessed during the last few days are like a constantly running loop. You cannot unsee these images once you have witnessed them. I have recorded these scenes in the “camera of my mind” a hundred times in the last 11 years, and these last three days only trigger the memories of thousands of other dolphin who are now ghosts, and have taken up residency in my mind.

Maybe it’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or whatever they call it. I hear about it all of the time on the nightly news. Soldiers returning from the war with PTSD, but I don’t actually know what PTSD is. I will have to Google it and see if it fits.


I have been trying to write a blog about the last three days for hours now — with no success. The blogs are important and I need to post it on our website while it is still fresh news — but my mind will not cooperate with my right index finger, which hits the keyboard and creates the words on this iPad screen. Perhaps it is a natural reaction because the mind has to relive the nightmare all over again. The finger couldn’t care less. It seems to have a disconnect — like it’s not really involved.

Ric O'Barry under the close watch of  the Taiji Police

Ric O’Barry under the close watch of the Taiji Police on Sept 1st, 2014

I know how important it is to write this blog ASAP but I just can’t seem to do it. So dear reader, I hope you will settle for this rambling. I’m going for a long walk.

Please consider joining Ric O’Barry on the front lines in Taiji as a Cove Monitor, or making a donation to keep our campaign going.

Our work is only possible through the generous support of activists like you.


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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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