Ric O'Barry: 'Flipper Committed Suicide'

Dolphin trainer-turned-marine activist Ric O’Barry decided to dedicate his life to saving porpoises and whales after watching the star of 1960s TV show “Flipper” take her own life.

O’Barry helped to capture and train dolphins for the beloved TV show, but stopped hunting the creatures down when the star of the series stopped breathing rather than live in captivity.

The man behind hard-hitting Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” is still haunted by the last moments of the dolphins life, he explained on Oprah Winfrey’s Earth Day Special.He states, “She was really depressed… You have to understand dolphins and whales are not air breathers like we are. Every breath they take is a conscious effort. They can end their life whenever.

“She swam into my arms and looked me right in the eye, took a breath and didn’t take another one. I let her go and she sank straight down on her belly to the bottom of the tank.

“The next day I was in jail for trying to free the dolphin – that’s how I reacted to it. I was gonna free every captive dolphin I could.”


(source)

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