Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Day of The Dolphin

Dolphins are some of the most fascinating, intelligent, and beautiful animals on the planet. I have always been drawn to them since I watched the 'Flipper' TV show as a child.

I later realised that the poor dolphins used on the show were in captivity. I guess that when you're a kid you just watch the show to see the dolphins do stunts and tricks - I never considered that the poor animals were suffering. I know better now.

However I am happy to report that one of the trainers Ric O'Barry became a marine activist when one of the dolphins became depressed and committed suicide by refusing to breathe. He has campaigned for the last 38 years against dolphin captivity and against the horrific 'dolphin drives' which take place in Japan every year.

My first real encounter came about ten years ago whilst on holiday in California. My family and I were wading out into the rolling surf and then from the corner of my eye, about six feet to my left, I spied two dolphins bursting from the waves! They were close enough for me to see the water shimmering on their skin and their 'smiling' faces. I couldn't believe how close they were, or how beautiful. Since that time I have been lucky enough to see them at least five or six times fishing for breakfast along the Californian coast, but at a distance.

Then around five years ago I saw a programme on TV about the Moray Firth bottlenose dolphins. My husband and I went up soon after for a few days to try to see them, and once again we were lucky. I remember the weather was awful, cold, grey and tipping down stair rods!
I was spying through binoculars from the car at Chanory point, and because of the steamed up windows I had to do a double take. Was that a fin I just saw? Yes indeed! Without a moment's hesitation I jumped out of the car and raced through the driving rain along the shingle beach to where they were heading.
At the end of the point was a man with a huge camera set on a tripod soaked to the skin, and another man walking his dog. We chatted excitedly as we watched about ten of the magnificent creatures hunting for salmon just a few feet from the shore. After about fifteen minutes they swam further away , but it was such a wonderful experience. I'll never forget it.

They seem to have the ability to fill me with joy and wonder, and I know they have a similar effect on others. This is why I find it particularly distressing to find these creatures trapped in ridiculously small pens made to perform tricks, and also that they are still hunted by some.

There are about 45 types of dolphin in the world, the largest being the Orca or killer whale. They live from between 20-45 years in the wild but only 4-10 in captivity. They live in pods and are very social animals. The Moray Firth boasts around 130 resident bottlenose dolphins and many porpoises. Sadly hundreds of dolphin and porpoise die ' by-catch' worldwide every year. This simply means that they are caught in trawling nets and drown.

The WDCS (Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society) have two free sites in the Moray Firth you can visit. They seek to raise awareness about providing a safe environment for these animals. They also campaign against whale and dolphin captivity, and against the hunting of whales and dolphins.

I adopted a dolphin when I was up there, and for as little as £4 per month so could you! My dolphin is called Rainbow, and I receive a picture and reports on her progress each year. I also receive a very interesting and informative magazine every three months. See the link below if you would like to find out more.

I hope you enjoyed the day of the dolphin, and I hope it's made you want to find out more about these magnificent creatures.
Mandy :)

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