Richard “Ric” O’Barry (born Richard Barry O’Feldman, October 14, 1939) is an American activist first recognized in the 1960s for capturing and training the five dolphins that were used in the TV series Flipper. O’Barry transitioned from training dolphins to instead advocating against industries that keep dolphins in captivity, soon after Kathy, one of the Flipper dolphins, died in his arms. O’Barry believes Kathy committed suicide.
In 1970 he founded the Dolphin Project, a group that aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, free captive dolphins. He was featured in the Academy Award-winning film, The Cove (2009), which used covert techniques to expose the yearly dolphin drive hunting that goes on in Taiji, Japan.