Κυριακή 18 Αυγούστου 2013

Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm: The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna (St. Martin's Press, 2013)

What happens when a wild orca tries to befriend people? The Lost Whale - book tells the amazing true story of a lonely orca named Luna who befriended humans in Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. The authors, Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm, spent more than two years covering Luna’s story. They produced a multi-award winning film called Saving Luna, as well as a version called The Whale Movie, narrated by Ryan Reynolds. Now they are happy to present their new book, The Lost Whale, about the much-loved orca called Luna. The Lost Whale is published by St. Martin’s Press, and was released on June 25, 2013.

The Whale (documentary)

Saving Luna (documentary)

Τρίτη 2 Ιουλίου 2013

Louis M. Herman: Intelligence and Rational Behaviour in the Bottlenosed Dolphin (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2006)

φωτο Αmazon

To what extent can animal behaviour be described as rational? What does it even mean to describe behaviour as rational? This book focuses on one of the major debates in science today - how closely does mental processing in animals resemble mental processing in humans. It addresses the question of whether and to what extent non-human animals are rational, that is, whether any animal behaviour can be regarded as the result of a rational thought processes. It does this with attention to three key questions, which recur throughout the book and which have both empirical and philosophical aspects: What kinds of behavioural tasks can animals successfully perform? What if any mental processes must be postulated to explain their performance at these tasks? What properties must processes have to count as rational? The book is distinctive in pursuing these questions not only in relation to our closest relatives, the primates, whose intelligence usually gets the most attention, but also in relation to birds and dolphins, where striking results are also being obtained. Some chapters focus on a particular species. They describe some of the extraordinary and complex behaviour of these species - using tools in novel ways to solve foraging problems, for example, or behaving in novel ways to solve complex social problems - and ask whether such behaviour should be explained in rational or merely mechanistic terms. Other chapters address more theoretical issues and ask, for example, what it means for behaviour to be rational, and whether rationality can be understood in the absence of language. The book includes many of the world's leading figures doing empirical work on rationality in primates, dolphins, and birds, as well as distinguished philosophers of mind and science. The book includes an editors' introduction which summarises the philosophical and empirical work presented, and draws together the issues discussed by the contributors.

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Part VI: Behaviour and Cognition in Symbolic Environments
Chapter 20: Louis M. Herman: Intelligence and Rational Behaviour in the Bottlenosed Dolphin
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Δευτέρα 1 Ιουλίου 2013

Ric O' Barry: Behind the Dolphin Smile (2012)

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. Ric O’Barry shares his journey with dolphins and other sea mammals in this captivating autobiographical look back at his years as a dolphin trainer for aquatic theme parks, movies, and television. Also included is a preface relaying a first-hand account of his adventures filming the 2010 Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove, which covertly uncovered Japan’s inhumane dolphin-hunting practices. O’Barry, a successful animal trainer who had had everything—money, flashy cars, pretty women—came to realize that dolphins were easy to train, not because of his great talent, but because they possessed great intelligence, and that keeping them in captivity was cruel and morally wrong. O’Barry now dedicates his life to stopping the exploitation of these exceptional mammals by retraining them to return to their natural habitats.

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Richard O’Barry, founder of the Dolphin Project Inc. and director of Earth Island Institute’s Save Japan Dolphins campaign, is a world-renowned advocate for dolphin freedom. He starred in the Academy Awarding®–winning documentary The Cove and in his son Lincoln O’Barry’s television series, Blood Dolphins, on Animal Planet and Planet Green. He lives in South Miami, Florida.

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David Kirby: Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity (2012)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory—a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America’s most beloved marine mammal park.
Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack in context. Brancheau’s death was the most publicized among several brutal attacks that have occurred at Sea World and other marine mammal theme parks.
Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales. In section two the orcas act out. And as the story progresses and orca attacks on trainers become increasingly violent, the warnings of Naomi Rose and other scientists fall on deaf ears, only to be realized with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Finally he covers the media backlash, the eyewitnesses who come forward to challenge SeaWorld’s glossy image, and the groundbreaking OSHA case that
challenges the very idea of keeping killer whales in captivity and may spell the end of having trainers in the water with the ocean’s top predators.

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DAVID KIRBY is the author of Evidence of Harm, which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and Animal Factory, an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms which NPR compared to Upton Sinclair’s classic work The Jungle. His latest book, Death at SeaWorld, was previewed by Library Journal, which wrote: “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigate work.” Booklist called the book “gripping” and “hard to put down,” while Louie Psihoyos, director of The Cove, labeled it “entertaining, engaging — and enraging.” An article Kirby wrote for Discover Magazine, “Made in China: Our Toxic, Imported Air Pollution” is included “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012,” edited and with an Introduction by Dan Ariely; (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2012).
Kirby has also been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post since its founding in 2005, and has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years. He has written for a number of national magazines and was a foreign correspondent in Mexico and Central America from 1986-1990, where he covered the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua and covered politics, corruption and natural disasters in Mexico. He has also done extensive consulting with the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report Office and UNESCO.

Kirby also worked for New York City Council President Carol Bellamy as a special assistant for health care, cultural affairs and civil rights, followed by employment as chief scheduler to Manhattan Borough President David N. Dinkins and senior staff adviser to Dinkins’ successful 1989 run for Mayor of New York City. From 1990-1993, Kirby was Director of Public Information at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), where he acted as press spokesman for Chairwoman Elizabeth Taylor, and witnessed firsthand the inner workings of Congress, the White House and powerful Federal agencies like the FDA, CDC and NIH.

Kirby has appeared on such national and international programs as Meet the Press, Larry King Live, The Today Show, NPR, AC360 with Anderson Cooper, MSNBC, BBC “Panorama,” BBC2, Fox News Channel, Fox and Friends Weekend, Imus in the Morning, The View, Montel Williams, Air America and dozens of local radio and television stations. Kirby has also contributed to, been interviewed by, and/or reviewed by outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Financial Times, O Magazine, Bloomberg, Newsday, The Lancet, Salon.com, NPR.com and much more. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

To learn more about David visit some of his websites:


Media Coaching Business:
TakePart.com Articles
Huffington Post
Links to our previous interview with David Kirby about his book, "Animal Factory"
Death at SeaWorld page on Voice of the Orcas

Samantha Berg talks about "Death at SeaWorld" at Fireside books in Palmer, AK

Κυριακή 30 Ιουνίου 2013

Hardy Jones: The Voice of The Dolphins (2011)

In 1978 filmmaker Hardy Jones was swept into the universe of dolphins. In his work as a filmmaker he came to know many of these magnificent animals as individuals. “I know when I’m with them that I’m relating to creatures as intelligent, social, and imbued with emotion as I am.” Hardy’s life became even more closely entwined with dolphins when he learned that he and the dolphins share a genetic trait that imperils both his life and the survival of dolphins worldwide. Starting with the film that came from his first life-changing encounter with spotted dolphins in the Bahamas, he’s made over 70 documentaries for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and foreign broadcasters. “Filming became my entrée into the world of dolphins but not my ultimate purpose there. My true aim was to get inside the minds of these enormously intelligent and friendly animals.” In coming years Hardy would apply what he had learned to killer whales in the Arctic fjords of Norway, and sperm whales off the Galapagos and the Caribbean Island of Dominica. “I became a pioneer in a parallel universe inhabited by highly intelligent, friendly, curious aliens. I came to love them and felt an intense need to protect them.” For more than three decades Hardy has fought to end the slaughter of dolphins by Japanese fishermen and was instrumental in converting a dolphin hunter to a dolphin watch tour leader. In the late 1980s Hardy became aware of a threat to dolphins even more insidious that the blades of dolphin hunters – rising levels of chemical toxins in the oceans that were impacting marine life and human beings. Over succeeding decades these contaminants have reached crisis level. In 2003 Hardy was diagnosed with an incurable form of blood cancer that is linked to chemical toxins. “I’ve struggled with the side effects of medications, but my first lab tests after beginning treatment brought stunning results. My burden of monoclonal cells had been reduced by ninety-eight percent.” The diagnosis spurred Hardy to seek the sources of the pollutants in his own body and to document their impact on marine life and human beings. Hardy continues treatment and maintains an active life traveling the world to campaign for dolphins, the oceans and the welfare of humanity.

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Hardy Jones 
Δύτης, κινηματογραφιστής και συγγραφέας ο Hardy Jones ήταν ο πρώτος που ανακάλυψε τις σφαγές δελφινιών στην Ιαπωνία και από τότε δεν έχει σταματήσει να μάχεται εναντίον τις αιχμαλωσίας τους.

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William M. Johnson: Τhe Rose -Tinted Menagerie: A history of animals in entertainment, from ancient Rome to the 20th century (1990)

Hailed as ‘a ground-breaking work’ upon its original release in 1990, the unabridged, fully illustrated, 325-page edition of The Rose-Tinted Menagerie has now been republished by Iridescent in Amazon Kindle ebook form. From the circus amphitheatres of ancient Rome, to the first travelling dolphin shows in America, Europe and the Far East… From the global trade in wild animals, to the captive chimps and dolphins exploited as tools of war… Through two thousand years of history, The Rose-Tinted Menagerie explores the human attitudes that have shaped our species' conquest-driven relationship with nature as a whole, a psychology as evident in the taming of the wild beast for the circus arena, argues the author, as in the razing of forests or the mass extinction of species.

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Prior to its first publication in 1990, author and investigative journalist William M Johnson spent five years researching The Rose-Tinted Menagerie. His research took him to big tops, menageries and dolphin pools throughout the length and breadth of Europe, and to circus shows from as far afield as the Soviet Union and the United States. From his own undercover work and from the testimony of scores of ex-circus and dolphin show staff, by 1990 Johnson had built up a formidable catalogue of evidence that, upon publication, dismayed wildlife experts, shocked the casual reader and provoked political debate: The Rose-Tinted Menagerie. While some establishments have since shut their doors forever — such as the infamous dolphin ‘striptease’ revue at the Moulin Rouge in Paris — these historical snapshots lucidly expose forms of cruelty and exploitation tragically still all too prevalent elsewhere, from the brutal capture of dolphins from the wild, to the sordid travelling dolphin shows currently entertaining locals and tourists in the Far East.

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Following P.T. Barnum's ill-fated display of white whales in his New York Museum in 1860, it was not until 1913 that cetaceans were again seen in captivity, this time when C. H. Townsend, curator of the New York Aquarium, stumbled upon the idea exhibiting dolphins as an unbeatable novelty to attract the crowds. Thus on 12 November 1913, five bottlenose dolphins - the first ever to be brought into commercial captivity - were caught in North Carolina and transported on a three day journey to New York. In June 1914 Townsend wrote that there had never been a more successful display in the Aquarium's 12-year history. The last of the dolphins, succumbing to pneumonia, died in 1915 after 21 months in captivity. But it would take another quarter of a century before a captive dolphin would be trained and put through its paces to entertain a human audience. The year 1938 saw the inauguration of Marine Studios in Florida and the arrival of the facility's first bottlenose dolphins. According to anecdotal accounts or stories that have gradually turned to fable with age, the very beginnings of dolphin dressage were conceived here more or less accidentally. During feeding time at Marine Studios, it is said, dolphins gradually fell into the habit of jumping up to catch the fish that were thrown to them, and this miniature spectacle always amused the public, the keepers and curator. Then a year later in 1939, Cecil M. Walker, then responsible for maintenance of the water purification pumps on the night-shift, observed one evening how a dolphin pushed a pelican feather across the surface of the water towards him. "Just for the hell of it" he took the proffered feather and threw it back into the water, whereupon, to his great surprise, the dolphin brought it back again. The game continued with Walker experimenting with a ball, an inner tube of a bicycle, small stones and other objects. As the game took shape with other dolphins joining in the act, it began to resemble the repertoire seen today in every dolphinarium in the world. At least, that's how the story goes, a tale which has its fair share of Hollywood ingredients, even for the humans involved: from the lowly position of night foreman, Walker was quickly promoted to the position of general-director at Marine Studios.
Soon, not only spellbound tourists and day-trippers were beating a path to see the only, the original, the amazing, performing dolphins but also world-renowned scientists, and it is interesting, even amusing, to see how rapidly the notions and "discoveries" of science, blinkered by the pride of human intellect, fall into obsolescence, divorced from a timeless spiritual respect for the sanctity of life. Internationally-respected zoologist Heini Hediger for example, could scarcely contain his enthusiasm for Marine Studios' sensational new animal act. Describing his visit in a 1954 paper entitled Sketches about Animal Psychology in the Zoo and Circus, Hediger enthuses: "The most important in this town situated directly on the sea are two aquaria of distinctly American proportions - hence the biggest in the world - so that those enormous pools are rightly no longer called aquaria but oceanaria." In fact, just one of those "enormous" pools, home to no fewer than 11 dolphins, measured a mere 22.5m in diameter and 3.6m deep - grossly inadequate even by today's standards.
Similarly, a Hediger paper entitled Dressage Experiments With Dolphins, published in 1952, begins by recalling Pliny's fable of a boy who had gained the love of a dolphin by feeding it regularly with bread, and who was carried across the sea every day to school on the animal's back. Hediger notes that scientists have always viewed such stories as lacking any foothold in reality and that they are best left to poets and writers of fairy tales. But 2000 years later, he goes on to say, there is at least a dolphin in Florida which obeys the commands of its trainer and even allows itself to be harnessed to a surf-board. Thus, he concludes, for humans to be carried over the water with the help of a dolphin is today quite feasible. Hediger goes on to record how sea-lion trainer Adolf Frohn was appointed to teach the dolphins their dressage stunts in the "generous facilities" provided by Marine Studios - a pool of about 8m in diameter and about 1.5m deep. It was in this special dressage pool, notes Hediger, that Frohn trained the especially gifted Tursiops truncatus called "Flippy". Reading between the lines of the scientific treatise, one can perceive a subjective struggle between scientific intellect and what could best be described as the human conscience. "But 'Flippy' wasn't a fish," Hediger solemnly declared, "and one nearly had to suppress the question as to whether it was an animal at all, when it was looking at you sideways with a twinkling eye from less than half a meter away." Indeed, if it were not for the intellect's constant calling to heel by scientific rationality, Hediger continued, he might have been tempted to look at the dolphin instead as "an enchanted creature". The same conflict between thought and feeling, the same uncanny, mystical experience of kinship, has haunted many a dolphin trainer, scientist and visiting child. Sadly for humanity, sadly for the dolphin and sadly for the world, the more delicate sense of feeling or intuition is so often regarded as a threat to the intellect that it is either overruled, suppressed or trampled. 'Flippy', Hediger notes, was fed a strictly-weighed portion of 6kg of fish, an amount "determined by the relatively small possibility of movement." Because the pool was so shallow, Hediger blandly recorded, the dolphin had become exposed to the summer sun without adequate protection, the resulting sunburn manifesting itself "in a strong reddening mainly of the light parts of the grey, smooth, plastic-like skin." The scientist could find nothing morally repugnant in the show-biz style of the exhibition. Here at Marine Studios, Hediger commented, it is not a question of "scientific dressage but of show dressage but the fact that even this circus-like dressage can, in principle, be of scientific value cannot be denied."

Mark Caney: Dolphin Way: Rise of the Guardians (AquaPress 2011)

Dolphin culture evolved over millions of years so they could remain perfectly attuned with their world, Ocean. Unlike man, they have created an almost utopian society without feeling the need to manipulate their environment, collect possessions or wage war. But the growing pressure of man's activities become intolerable and in frustration one faction seeks an aggressive new path, making a shocking departure from The Way - the ancient philosophy that has guided them so well through the millennia. Sky, a male dolphin close to becoming an Initiate in The Way, unwillingly finds himself caught up in the violent consequences. To save the lives of his closest friends he will have to risk the worst punishment his clan can inflict and must decide between the two females who challenge everything he believes in.

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Mark Caney

O συγγραφέας του βιβλίου Μark Caney, η ιστοσελίδα του, το προφίλ του και η ομάδα του στο facebook.