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Animal Planet turning 'The Cove' documentary into a reality series

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/10/2010 

Animal Planet is turning the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove into a new docu-reality series.

The network has ordered Dolphin Warriors, which is based on the environmentally-themed film that won the Oscar for Best Documentary during Sunday night's ceremony, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The Cove chronicled fishermen in Taiji, Japan who annually sell dolphins into captivity or kill them for meat -- which the documentary depicts as an inhumane practice.

The tentatively-titled reality series will begin where the film ended and will start animal activist Ric O'Barry, who told The Times that two episodes have already been completed.

"What has happened now is that they're not killing dolphins in the cove; they've moved offshore," O'Barry told The Times. "They've created an artificial cove out of nets, and they drive the dolphins in there and kill them so we can't photograph it. But we have some drones and small planes and things to prove it."

Animal Planet plans to premiere the series, which is directed by O'Barry's son Lincoln, this fall after it airs The Cove this summer.

"Ric and Lincoln O'Barry are fascinating men with an important mission and remarkable stories to share," Animal Planet president Marjorie Kaplan told The Times. "We're delighted to be working with them on their next project."

After The Cove claimed the Academy Award, the Taiji government issued a statement denouncing the negative depiction of the practice.

"There are different food traditions within Japan and around the world," read the statement, according to The Times. "It is important to respect and understand regional food cultures, which are based on traditions with long histories."

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