August 23, 2010
Posted: 03:39 PM ET
by Richard O’Barry
I am in my 50th year of learning about and working with dolphins around the world. There is no other animal, on sea or land, like the dolphin. We have spent decades and millions of dollars trying to communicate with them, but they are always trying to communicate directly with us. They are the only wild animal I know who have saved human lives — not a few times, but repeatedly through history. They are superbly adapted to the ocean, and make even the best human swimmer look clumsy.
But we have repaid them by killing them, again and again. Or by keeping them confined in small inadequate cages to do dumb tricks for us. Isn’t it time we stopped and just let them alone in their ocean world? Is that really too much to ask in this day and age? When Kathy, the dolphin that played Flipper in the TV series, died in my arms, I vowed to free every dolphin I could. I hope the public will join me in this monumental effort for the dolphins.
I’m pleased to announce that a new mini-series, “Blood Dolphins”, will start on August 27th on Animal Planet. My son Lincoln is the director of this compelling show documenting our efforts to protect dolphins around the world.
The first show airs on Animal Planet on Friday, August 27th at 11 PM ET/PT, following the season finale of Paul Watson’s “Whale Wars.”
On August 29th, there will be a chance for many to see “The Cove” for the first time. It airs at 9 PM ET/PT on Animal Planet.
On Fridays, Sept. 3rd and 10th, Blood Dolphins will air at 9 PM ET/PT. These next two shows feature our efforts in the Solomon Islands to protect dolphins and stop trafficking in wild dolphins.
In recent years, the Solomon Islands has emerged as a major crossroads in the blood trade in wild dolphins. Dolphin dealing is legal there and has sparked a gold rush among poverty stricken indigenous tribes who have hunted dolphins for centuries and who use dolphin teeth as a form of currency. For Lincoln and I, a mission to The Solomon Islands brings intrigue and danger, as well as high hopes. The most prominent dealer in the islands – a long time dolphin nemesis named Chris Porter – has made overtures to Earth Island, claiming he is ready to quit the business. It could be the opening we need to shut down the captive trade. But to make it pay off, our Save Japan Dolphins team must face down a rival dealer and broker a deal with the native dolphin hunters to stop killing dolphins.
Part Two continues in the Solomon Islands, where our delicate negotiations with the dolphin hunting villages are nearly derailed when a letter signed by several chiefs and parliament members is made public. The letter contains a clear warning that Lincoln and I and our entire team should stay away from the island of Malaita. Soon, however, Lincoln and I discover the letter is a hoax. We proceed to the island and finally enter into an historic agreement with one of the villages to stop hunting dolphins. It is a rare, tangible victory in the fight to save dolphins.
Of course, these showings will also be repeated on Animal Planet later in the year.
This is an exciting series where we show the world our work to protect dolphins in danger. In the process, we hope to inspire you to join our cause.
See the trailer here:
Filed under: LKL Web Exclusive
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