BEGINNING OF A BIG BUSINESSAfter leaving the navy, O’Barry began working withdolphins at the Miami Seaquarium.Ric captured and trained the ﬁve dolphins whoeventually played the role of Flipper, which ﬁrst airedin 1964.When Flipper ﬁrst aired, Ric O’Barry was seen as thebest dolphin trainer in the world.
After the airing of Flipper, the demand to see dolphinsperform live spread through the world like wild ﬁre.Within less than ten years, Ric helped to build alucrative industry of capturing and training dolphins.Like many other business operations, the industrygrew to focus on money rather than on the welfareof captive dolphins.
THE PROBLEM WITH CAPTIVITYDolphins are very social creatures, traveling in pods ofup to 1,000.They can travel more than forty miles per day.Tanks concentrate them in an area much smaller thanthat of their natural habitat.
Ric knew that dolphins were intelligent animals thatwere capable of emotion.Like the industry, Ric justiﬁed the wrongful captivityof dolphins with the immense proﬁts that he made.The loss of a close friend led O’Barry to become anactivist for the freeing of captive dolphins.
RIC BECOMES AN ACTIVISTKathy, the dolphin who played the role of Flipper, diedin Ric’s arms as dolphins breathe voluntarily. Sherefused to breathe any longer.From that moment forward, O’Barry began hisprocess of taking apart the million dollar industry thathe helped to create.Following Kathy’s death, Ric was arrested on theisland of Bimini for trying to free a dolphin from a seaholding pen.
Ric pictured with Kathy, the primary dolphin for therole of Flipper.
On the ﬁrst Earth Day in 1970, Ric founded theoriginal Dolphin Project.The project seeks to end the exploitation andslaughter of dolphins around the world.Through Ric’s efforts, he has helped to rescue andrehabilitate dolphins from countries all over theworld, including Brazil, Haiti, Columbia, Nicaragua,Guatemala, The Bahamas, and the United States.
SPREADING THE WORDBehind The Dolphin Smile was written by O’Barry andpublished in 1989.A second publication came in September of 2000titled To Free a Dolphin.Both of the books are about his work and dedicationin freeing captive dolphins.
The Cove, produced in 2009, focuses on the effortsthat Ric makes to end dolphin capturing and slaughterin the town of Taiji, Japan.The ﬁlm was awarded the 2010 Academy Award forbest documentary feature.The Animal Planet series, Blood Dolphins, premiered inAugust of 2010. It highlights Ric’s efforts to enddolphin dealing in the Soloman Islands, a chain ofislands in the south paciﬁc.
AN EX-CON BECOMES A HERORic O’Barry has been arrested countless times overthe last fourty years for his attempts in freeingdolphins.In 1991, Ric was awarded The EnvironmentalAchievement Award for his contribution to rescuingdolphins.In 2010 Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin project celebrated thecondemnation of slaughtering dolphins along thecoast of Japan and negotiated an end to dolphinhunting in the Solomon Islands.