When Dean Bernal was a young dive instructor in the Turks and Caicos Islands he met a wild bottlenose dolphin, named JoJo, and they soon become close companions. This was the beginning of a deep friendship of diving, playing, and swimming in the crystal blue waters that has spanned decades.
In the safety of isolated bays, they explored the coral reefs and caves, and out at sea they body surfed hurricane waves, or got lost in lightning storms. Dean kept JoJo safe when he was small and the dolphin defended Dean from predators as he grew. But when the encroachment of man and his machines severely injured JoJo time and again, Dean was called to action.
He began a campaign to protect JoJo and safeguard his habitat. It was a long and dangerous fight. However, after many years of international media exposure in magazines, newspapers, and films, which put pressure upon corrupt government officials and crooked businesses, JoJo was declared a national treasure and Dean was appointed his official warden.
But the battle was just beginning. There were growing controversies with unscrupulous government officials, exploitative executives, and suspicious strikes from ski boats. Later JoJo’s entrapment in a strategically placed turtle net almost killed him. Still, Dean’s love for this dolphin kept him fighting. And as JoJo touched more and more people, Dean learned about our human ability to heal ourselves through nature and how compassion shown to animals brings us openness, sensitivity, and peace.
This inspirational true story has been featured in countless books, news and television specials, and movies including the Academy Award nominated Imax film, Dolphins, narrated by Pierce Brosnan, PBS’s In the Wild with Robin Williams, and Dolphins: Close Encounters with George Page.
You wil marvel at this beautiful friendship.
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