Two lines of thinking seem to make their way into people’s New Year’s resolutions:
- a focus on goal-setting, or
- a focus on the journey, not the end goal
But what if both are important — the why you choose to educate others on the plight of dolphins worldwide, and the result of such actions on their well-being?
What is your “why”?
Kathy was one of five bottlenose dolphins used in the 1960s hit television show, Flipper. When the show ended, Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project, then head trainer for the mammals was tasked with keeping the dolphins ready in case they were needed for another production. For the most part however, boredom had overtaken their day-to-day existence.
One day Ric received an urgent message from the supervisor at Miami Seaquarium that Kathy was not doing well. Explains Ric, “I pedaled furiously and, dripping with sweat, reached the Seaquarium and rode right through the gate without stopping.” He continues, “I went up to the tank and looked in. I was stunned! It was Kathy, yes, but not the Kathy I had known. Her back and head were black with blisters. Horrible! Big, ugly, black blisters covered almost her whole body, and she lay there on the surface of the water, barely moving.” Within moments, cradled in Ric’s arms Kathy had died. After being engulfed by shock and tears he later recounts, “I turned and got on my bicycle and pedaled slowly back to my apartment. I was thinking only one thing: something had to be done. Within a week, I was in Bimini, trying to free Charlie Brown.”*
*Excerpt, Behind the Dolphin Smile by Ric O’Barry with Keith Coulbourn
What outcome(s) would you like to achieve?
That’s easy, you’re probably saying: empty the tanks and set all the dolphins free! If this is your goal — great! But achieving such a large-scale result will no doubt, require the implementation of several smaller steps. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Have an aquarium in your city or town that houses captive dolphins? Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, expressing why dolphins and other whales should not be kept in captivity. Refer to our Facts About Dolphin Captivity page for more information.
- Are you an educator or parent? Consider sharing our Study Guides page with your local school and request that they add cetacean conservation to their science/environment curriculum.
- Live near the ocean? What better way to understand dolphins than by observing them in the wild. Refer to our Dolphin Facts page to dive deep into all things dolphin!
- Have something personal you’ve always wanted to accomplish? Consider creating a fundraiser to help make it happen, and raise funds for Dolphin Project so we can continue our groundbreaking work for dolphins.
Together, let’s take some positive steps in 2024. If you’re so inclined, share your journey onto social media and inspire others!
LEARN MORE about Dolphin Project’s campaigns for dolphins.
Featured image: Common dolphin and calf swimming wild and free, Dana Point, California. Credit: Cynthia Fernandez