Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wild at Heart: Whales & Dolphins

Over the next two weeks, I will be bringing you previews of the work that will be exhibited at May 26th's "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," the endangered species benefit that Andrew Hosner and I are co-curating at Thinkspace. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Hope to see you there!

Philippe Baudelocque "Whale"

Of the 13 great whale species, 7 are are endangered or vulnerable, even after decades of protection. Whales, dolphins and porpoises are succumbing to new and ever-increasing dangers. Collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear threaten the North Atlantic Right Whale with extinction, while the critically endangered Western North Pacific Gray Whale is at serious risk because of intensive oil and gas development in its feeding grounds. There are fears that the widespread use of sonar is causing whales to panic, either beaching themselves or surfacing too rapidly, which leads to potentially fatal decompression sickness. Alarm is also growing over other hazards, including toxic contamination, the effects of climate change and habitat degradation.

Just this month, Born Free completed the rehabilitation of two dolphins rescued from a filthy swimming pool in Turkey. For 20 months, they were cared for and taught to hunt live fish on their own, then returned to the wilds of the Aegean Sea from which they had been taken as babies. To prevent cruelty of this kind from continuing, Born Free is calling for an international ban on the capture of wild dolphins.

Ben Strawn "Turtle Carousel"

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