Richard (Ric) O’Barry – lead activist of the Oscar®-winning film The Cove – and his son, filmmaker Lincoln O’Barry, are two men driven by a single passion to expose the plight of dolphins worldwide. Now, continuing the journey that began in the Academy Award-winning film, Animal Planet presents the powerful three-part miniseries, BLOOD DOLPHINS, premiering Wednesday, October 6 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT. From former dolphin trainer of the hit-series Flipper, to dolphin activist operating on the edge, Ric O’Barry continues on his redemptive mission to save dolphins at the peril of man. Along with his son, Ric returns to Taiji, Japan, the site of The Cove, and travels to the Solomon Islands, the nerve centre of dolphin slaughter and trade, to confront cultural, political and economic forces that affect the world’s dolphins.
Each operation is an uncharted journey into the heart of enemy territory. In BLOOD DOLPHINS, Ric and Lincoln encounter serious opposition, but setbacks, disappointment and struggle are not foreign to them – these obstacles do not stop them from continuing their mission. With the stakes always high, the operations sometimes frustrating and often dangerous, and the outcomes both heartbreaking and hopeful, no single mission will achieve final victory. But for Ric and Lincoln O’Barry, saving dolphins is a battle well worth fighting…one they are determined to win, no matter how long it takes.
“Dolphins are highly intelligent, self-aware, complex creatures that should swim free without the threat of slaughter or captivity,” says Ric O’Barry. “The most important thing I can do…that my son can do…is show the world through projects like BLOOD DOLPHINS just how threatened dolphins are so we can all do something about it.”
Threatened by annual hunts, dolphins are slaughtered by the thousands each and every year. They are also victimized by a highly lucrative – at times cutthroat – captive trade, where a “prime specimen” can rake in up to $200,000 for the dolphin entertainment industry. Either scenario is a sad fate for one of the most remarkable, intelligent and loved creatures on the planet.
“My father is more aware than anyone else of how extraordinary dolphins are,” says Lincoln O’Barry. “Having worked almost 50 years with dolphins as the trainer for the television-star Flipper, he has spent the last four decades trying to redeem himself for the mistake he made by working with the captive dolphin industry.”
Episode highlights for BLOOD DOLPHINS include:
BLOOD DOLPHINS – “Return to Taiji”
Wednesday, October 6 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
For years, Taiji, Japan concealed a dark secret – an annual six-month long dolphin hunt, where approximately 20,000 dolphins are brutally slaughtered in a tiny, hidden inlet known as “The Cove.” In 2009, the Oscar®-winning film, The Cove, exposed Taiji’s hunt to the world for the first time. Now, Ric and Lincoln O’Barry use the power of international outrage to attempt to stop dolphin hunting. And though the mission appears to work – the annual hunt is delayed and a covert swim to The Cove itself shows no preparations to resume the slaughter – a single phone call brings them rushing back.
BLOOD DOLPHINS – “The Solomon Islands, Part 1”
Wednesday, October 13 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
In recent years, the Solomon Islands – a tiny nation in the South Pacific – has emerged as a major crossroads in the blood trade in wild dolphins. Dolphin dealing is legal here and has sparked a gold rush among poverty stricken indigenous tribes who have hunted dolphins for centuries. For Ric and Lincoln O’Barry, a mission to The Solomon Islands brings intrigue and danger, as well as high hopes.
BLOOD DOLPHINS – “The Solomon Islands, Part 2”
Wednesday, October 20 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Ric and Lincoln O’Barry’s mission to the Solomon Islands continues and is fully launched on two fronts. First, they must confirm the true intentions of dolphin dealer-turned-advocate Chris Porter. Secondly, they make inroads with the indigenous people still involved in dolphin hunting.