Ric O’Barry and The Cove Presentation

Friday, 04 November 2011 From Issue Vol. XIX No. 44 By  Emily Kay

Love Wildlife, ACRES of Singapore and Goldfish PLC, the Regent’s School of Pattaya’s student enterprise displayed their wide array of merchandise as dozens strolled in to the Globe Theatre for an evening of excitement, heartache and activism. Ric O’Barry, the trainer of Flipper the dolphin and the star of the movie-documentary, ‘The Cove’, through the combined organisation of the Love Wildlife Foundation and Earth Island Institute, was to give staff, students and the public of Pattaya an evening they would not forget for a very long time.

The presentation began with a harrowing showing of ‘The Cove’, a movie that will move the coldest of hearts. Many tears were shed but the beauty of the movie is that it is not all about sadness. Through the efforts of Ric O’Barry and his activist team they have brought to light a darkened corner of a tiny fishing village in Japan, Taiji. After opening the eyes of those that want to see what happens in ‘The Cove’, many people have stood up and spoken out.

Interview with Ric O’Barry, Dr. Virachai Techavijit and Mr. Mike Walton.Interview with Ric O’Barry, Dr. Virachai Techavijit and Mr. Mike Walton.

As the movie drew to its dramatic end with the climactic score echoing in the background of the theatre, Ric was welcomed to an extremely well-deserved standing ovation. He clearly answered the abundance of questions asked of him by students ranging from primary school to the sixth form students in secondary, to staff and parents. Asked such questions as, ‘Do you agree with dolphin breeding for captivity?’ ‘What were Seaworld’s reactions to ‘The Cove’?’ and, ‘Why did you spend ten years training dolphins to now be dedicating your life to saving them?’ Ric was unfettered and detailed in his answers. The Questions and Answers session ended on what Ric stated to be his favourite question of the evening, ‘What can I do to help?’ A question that was asked by many in the audience.

Fyona thanking Ric for an amazing presentation to staff, students and parents of the Regent’s School.Fyona thanking Ric for an amazing presentation to staff, students and parents of the Regent’s School.

After presenting the school with his book, and Nancy from Love Wildlife giving the school a copy of ‘The Cove’, Ric spent the next forty-five minutes signing autographs and taking his time to answer individual’s more in-depth, personal questions. Each person in that theatre left having learnt something new, sad and yet they were explicably left with a desire to make a difference and spread the word.

For me, having asked Ric, ‘Do you ever feel like you are fighting a losing battle?’ his answer was the simplest and most obvious of all, and one of which I had not yet thought about. ‘It isn’t about winning.’

Launching of the Save the Sea and Free Dolphins Project.Launching of the Save the Sea and Free Dolphins Project.

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