Europe’s most prestigious Media Award goes to … Richard O’Barry!

11. Nov 2011

bambi

«Don’t buy tickets to dolphin shows!» Richard O’Barrys message was simple and clear, when the dolphin activist spoke to a live television audience of over 5 million people in 3 countries. «If we don’t go to dolphinaria, they will close and all dolphins go free at last», he said while receiving a «Bambi», Europes most important Media Award. 

He would continue to work hard to become dispensable, he announced in his live speech in Wiesbaden, Germany on Thursady night, 10th of November. «If I won’t be needed anymore, I’ll be the happiest man. It will be the moment when there are no more captivity facilities for dolphins.» A long way to get there though, the former «Flipper» trainer is well aware – and a heavy burden to carry.

Heavy is also the «Bambi» award statue itself, weighing about seven pounds (2.5 kg). Laughing, Richard O’Barry held the massive golden deer statue in the air before the applausing audience and remarked its weight. «I will auction it on Ebay the next morning, so I can raise some more funding for my activities», he announced, only to admit he was joking. «Of course I will keep it.»

The worlds’ best known dolphin activist radically turned from the captivity industry and from training the «Flipper» dolphins to dolphin protection in 1970. O’Barry has received the «BAMBI» in the category «Our Earth», for his devotion and lifetime achievement for the dolphins and the environment. He was presented with Germanys’ and Europes’ most prestigious Media Award side by side with celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow or Lady Gaga.

«I could not sleep after I had seen what happens to dolphins in Japan», the German news-anchorwoman Judith Rakers said, when she presented the «BAMBI» to Richard O’Barry. Her moderation was competent and outspoken. And so was a brief broadcast, with some graphic footage taken from the Oscar-winning movie «The Cove». The documentary with O’Barry as protagonist exposes the dolphin hunt in a coastal Japanese village, which leaves a small cove red with blood.

And it left more than a few people in the audience in tears. Yet, Richard O’Barrys message to the millions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria live on TV was a positive, hopeful and powerful one. «Germanys number of dolphinaria is down to three now. And one more will close next year. And there is one dolphin park left in Switzerland. They will all close sooner or later.» And as he had come, he left the stage with a clear and simple message. « The sooner the better. Just don’t buy tickets to dolphin shows!»

Also watch this brief video message of Ric O'Barry here !

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