Behind the dolphin smile

dolphin smile

(Photo credit: Insight Editions Press)

(Image above shows two photographs: the first is black-and-white picture of a man standing whilst a dolphin is “standing” up in the water; the second is a colour photo of a man swimming with a dolphin)

Behind the Dolphin Smile is the heart-felt true story of an animal lover who dedicated his life to studying and training dolphins, but in the process discovered that he ultimately needed to set them free.

Richard O’Barry shares the fascinating story of his life with dolphins and other sea mammals in this captivating autobiography.

In his early career, O’Barry trained dolphins to entertain audiences for shows at aquatic theme parks and roles in movies and television shows, most notably Flipper.

His work as a trainer came to an abrupt end when one of the dolphins that played Flipper on television died of stress in his arms. At that moment, he realised that keeping dolphins in captivity and teaching them to do tricks was cruel and morally wrong.

He came to realize that dolphins were easy to train, not because of his great talent, but because they possessed great intelligence and he began to dedicate his life to stopping the exploitation of these exceptional mammals by retraining them to return to their natural habitats.

His tireless work, including being arrested in the 1970’s 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 covertly uncovered Japan’s horrific and inhumane dolphin-hunting practices.

You can find further details of Behind the dolphin smile on the main catalogue, available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.