Behind the Dolphin Smile: One Man's Campaign to Protect the World's Dolphins

Behind the Dolphin Smile: One Man's Campaign to Protect the World's Dolphins

5.0 3
by Richard O'Barry, Keith Coulbourn
     
 

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Behind the Dolphin Smile is the heart-felt true story of an animal lover who dedicated his life to studying and training dolphins, but in the process discovered that he ultimately needed to set them free. Ric O’Barry shares his journey with dolphins and other sea mammals in this captivating autobiographical look back at his years as a dolphin trainer

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Overview

Behind the Dolphin Smile is the heart-felt true story of an animal lover who dedicated his life to studying and training dolphins, but in the process discovered that he ultimately needed to set them free. Ric O’Barry shares his journey with dolphins and other sea mammals in this captivating autobiographical look back at his years as a dolphin trainer for aquatic theme parks, movies, and television. Also included is a preface relaying a first-hand account of his adventures filming the 2010 Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove, which covertly uncovered Japan’s inhumane dolphin-hunting practices. O’Barry, a successful animal trainer who had had everything—money, flashy cars, pretty women—came to realize that dolphins were easy to train, not because of his great talent, but because they possessed great intelligence, and that keeping them in captivity was cruel and morally wrong. O’Barry now dedicates his life to stopping the exploitation of these exceptional mammals by retraining them to return to their natural habitats.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
He attracted worldwide attention in 1970 when he was arrested in Bimini, the Bahamas, for cutting the wires of a dolphin's pen. That act was a remarkable turnabout for O'Barry, who had collected, trained and exhibited dolphins for the Miami Seaquarium. He trained all five ``Flippers'' for the successful television series; the death of his favorite, Kathy, convinced him that commercial exploitation of these intelligent, sensitive creatures must end. O'Barry recounts his adventures with dolphins, sea lions, sharks and other sea mammals in making films for television. After several attempts at organizing a group to protect dolphins, he now works with the Oceanic Research and Communication Alliance (ORCA). On a marshy island off the coast of Georgia, O'Barry is retraining dolphins to live in their natural environment. His story will have wide appeal. Photos. (April)
KLIATT
No one is more familiar with dolphins than ex-trainer Richard O'Barry. That he is an ex-trainer is the crux of Behind the Dolphin Smile, as the man who trained the dolphins who played Flipper on the television series has since become a most ardent advocate for the rights of dolphins to be free. O'Barry's epiphany came when one of the dolphins died of stress, in his arms, and left him changed forever. "If dolphins made contact with alien beings who made the right kind of sounds and if dolphins were enlightened enough to understand what was going on, they might very well treat the aliens the way they, the dolphins, would like to be treated themselves: with respect, kindness, patience and love. Indeed, they would treat the alien beings just as they have treated us." O'Barry has been arrested for trying to free a dolphin but has also been awarded the United Nations Environmental Achievement Award for his work in dolphin re-adaptation. This book is his story of how he reached this point in his life. It is not a great memoir, but it is a good story and an interesting one. It is also bound to add to the discussion about what is just and right for lives other than human ones. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1988, Renaissance, 299p, 23cm, 00-103894, $15.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Katherine E. Gillen; Libn., Luke AFB Lib., AZ, November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)
Library Journal
This autobiographical account of the author's work with dolphins includes his unique experiences capturing and training them at Miami's Seaquarium for filming in the Flipper television series. It also reveals his deep respect for the dolphin's natural dignity; O'Barry describes his involvement in research projects in which the mammals were studied in captivity and then returned to the wild. His Flipper tales are interesting, but for the most part his storytelling is too self-centered; he spends more effort examining his own personality than that of the dolphin. Samuel Ridgway's The Dolphin Doctor ( LJ 9/1/87) or Don Reed's Notes from an Underwater Zoo ( LJ 6/1/81) more vividly capture the excitement of working with these fascinating sea creatures. Susan Klimley, Columbia U. Libs.
School Library Journal
YA O'Barry's lifetime involvement with dolphins is the subject of this engaging autobiography. As trainer of the television star, Flipper (who was really five different female dolphins), his skills were crucial to the series' success. In 1970, O'Barry became aware of how his work had often exploited the friendly sea mammals and founded Dolphin Project, Inc., which is dedicated to the rights of dolphins to swim freely, except for purposes of legitimate scientific research. His work in returning dolphins to the wild was recently featured in a National Geographic television special, Back to the Sea. Although the time frame, littered with flashbacks, is sometimes confusing, this book succeeds in expressing O'Barry's deep bond with dolphins and his commitment to their rights. His worldwide adventures should appeal to many readers. Keddy Outlaw, Harris County Public Library, Houston

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608871056
Publisher:
Insight Editions LLC
Publication date:
01/03/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
285
Sales rank:
632,461
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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