Behind the Dolphin Smile chronicles Richard O’Barry’s extraordinary journey from dolphin trainer to world-renowned advocate for dolphin freedom. In his early years, O’Barry trained dolphins to entertain audiences for shows at aquatic theme parks and for roles in movies and television shows, most notably Flipper. His career as a trainer came to an abrupt halt when one of the dolphins that played Flipper on television died of stress in his arms. At that moment, he realized that keeping dolphins in captivity and teaching them to do tricks was cruel and morally wrong. He began to understand that dolphins were easy to train not because of his gifts as a trainer, but because they are remarkably intelligent, and he vowed not to rest until he freed every last one of them.
O’Barry’s first arrest in the 1970s for trying to free a caged dolphin in the Bahamas eventually led to his starring role in the 2010 Academy Award®-winning documentary The Cove, which exposed to the world Japan’s horrific annual dolphin slaughter. Included in this new edition is a preface on O’Barry’s role in this riveting documentary, which has garnered more awards than any other in its genre, as well as information on his campaigns to stop the slaughter of dolphins.
Share and rejoice in O’Barry’s adventures, from Flipper to The Cove, and discover how the one-time pride of the billion-dollar captivity industry became the tireless dolphin advocate we know and love today.