The star of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, about the dolphin-hunting town in Japan, has been detained on entry into Japan and forced to do tricks in a giant pool.
O’Barry was barred from entering Japan on Monday by immigration authorities in Narita Airport and informed that he couldn’t enter on a tourist visa.
The dolphin activist was transferred to a nearby pool facility and will serve out his punishment performing water tricks for Chinese tourists.
“He is currently now fulfilling out the terms of his tourist visa – the Chinese are now paying good money to see an old white man jump through hoops,” said Japanese immigration officals.
Ric O’Barry’s lawyer, Takashi Takano, is negotiating with authorities for a quick release.
“I spoke to him this morning and he’s remaining positive – at the moment he’s surviving on live mackerels twice a day,” Takano told reporters.
Takano says O’Barry has been obedient towards the trainers and so far carried out some impressive tricks.
“We’re hoping his performances and good behaviour will convince authorities to let him go home as soon as possible,” said Takano.
At this stage the eco-warrior’s life is not in danger, as O’Barry is believed to contain significantly more mercury than the average dolphin.