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Kathy the dolphin

Dear Kathy,

All the grief in the world won’t bring you back
I wipe my salty tears and think of your sleek grey form
carving through the waves, your spirit soars now but
you knew only grief here on earth, as you served your
human captors. Your smile was so deceptive my sweet
kin. ……as are the assumptions we make about anyone
based on appearance, we make errors of judgement
and how dangerous they are, when they lead to this
subconscious acceptance that you are happy in your
enclosure. We have failed to see your suffering and
added to it because it served our purpose – we held you
captive. You entertained to the sound of our applause
and we kidded ourselves you enjoyed the attention, when
all you sought was your freedom, your people, your
family, your ocean home.

We will not rest until our oceans are clean again and
until we see your descendants thriving and thrilling in
the waves, until we mend the bridges we have broken and
understand, you need your freedom as much as we.

We never met but I watched you at the height of your
movie stardom and thrilled as I watched your tricks
and water play. You did not do this all for nothing, you
taught me to love you and your kind.

Thank you Kathy…… free, may your spirit swim and
soar on the tide and all mankind serve to set your kin
free to enjoy the oceans as they should be, clean and full
of fish and your descendants thriving.

My love I send…… Karin

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This is just a simple heartfelt prayer type response to the book I’m reading called “Behind the Dolphin Smile” by Richard O’Barry (Flipper’s trainer) who trained all 5 dolphins involved in the Flipper television series. Kathy was the most ‘used’ dolphin and the one he loved so dearly, who died in his arms, apparently of a broken heart. I did not know until recently that a dolphin chooses to breathe and can stop breathing if they so wish, to die. I understand this is what happened. After this, Richard had a revelation and realised that keeping dolphins in captivity was not right. He changed his life completely and became an activist for setting the dolphins of the world free, for stopping violence against dolphins in other parts of the world and personally assists, not just campaigns, but visits in person to save a single dolphin or whale from uninhabitable small tanks and enclosures etc. He has flown around the world just over a phone call about a dolphin in distress to personally attend to the matter. He was also heavily involved in the filming of “The Cove”. The dolphins have my heart too.

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All rights reserved © Karin Taylor 1965 – 2013*
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These images are the exclusive property of myself, Karin Taylor and are protected under the Australian and International Copyright laws. These images must not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of myself, Karin Taylor.

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  • sure2010
    sure2010over 2 years ago

    Great tribute & you are true HUMAN Karin

  • thank you sooo much Sure :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorover 2 years ago

    great tribute piece well done liz

  • thank you so much Liz! :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Mooreover 2 years ago

    Oh, dear. I’m in tears over this. So sweet and heart felt, Karin. And the story is really touching. I didn’t know.

  • …aw Frannie, so sorry it made you cry…..I didn’t know either til recently ((big hugs)) xox

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehover 2 years ago

    I can’t say this kind of thing isn’t knew to me; it is very sad. Although I didn’t know about the Flipper dolphin in particular; things that I enjoyed as a kid in general, like pet stores, I later learn more truth behind them.

    It is a sad that dolphins can just choose to die – although it can show just how human they are, as that too is very much human behaviour – we were, after all, once all born from the sea – and through evolution some of us became land animals to human. But regardless of are different appearance and languages today, we were all the same once; we’re all living and have feelings.

  • thank you so much for these great observations Mui-Ling, someone recently explained to me, that as human beings, we breathe without consciously having to try…whereas the dolphin, although it be a mammal like us, has to actually consciously take each and every breath, as a decision they make. It broke my heart to find, that such a creature would take it’s own life in this way, however suicide is not uncommon in the animal world. Sad as it is…but to think that we have contributed to the misery of these beautiful animals, makes me so sad, and I of all people, was once such an avid supporter of zoos and animals in captivity, I could not see how it hurt them, until I knew and understood animals have feelings and like you suggested, we have a great deal in common with the animal world, many of our behaviours are similar, particular the basics. I am very interested in animal behaviour for that reason. Even tiny fish have feelings…..I am only just now coming to an understanding of it all….like a new age is dawning over me xox

    – © Karin Taylor

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