Dean Bernal first visited the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1981. Three small sociable dolphins swam in the shallow coastal waters. One would be befriended by Dean and many island residents and known as JoJo. The life of JoJo seems legendary, but the books and archive films are created directly from the observations and research recorded by Dean Bernal on his amazing and heart warming journeys with JoJo.
Dean will give a brief history of JoJo the wild dolphin and how Dean lobbied to make JoJo the National Treasure of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Jojo is now the most highly protected dolphin in the world. Their story is now used as a wildlife icon for protection of land and ocean environments globally.
Today Dean and JoJo.’s battle is global addressing issues like in Japan where they succeeded in halting the kills of dolphins in Japan’s largest dolphin kill port, addressing the proposed new captive facilities, protecting other lone and sociable dolphins like JoJo, and using Dean and JoJo’s global media strength in licensing and branding for good cause programs.
Dean Bernal has been likened to “a cross between Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, and Crocodile Dundee”. Excerpts from the story of Dean and JoJo have been featured in countless books, TV specials, and movies including: Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Dolphins, narrated by Pierce Brosnan; two PBS specials: In the Wild: Dolphins with Robin Williams & Dolphins: Close Encounters with George Page; and World News Tonight, BBC, Cousteau, and Nature specials.
Dean created The Marine Wildlife Foundation to protect lone dolphins like JoJo by providing legal protection, medical attention, public education, and research. JoJo was declared a National Treasure of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and JoJo’s caretaker and friend, Dean, was appointed his official warden. Dean Bernal is a spokesperson, film producer, director, and wildlife advocate.
Today, Dean uses his ongoing experiences as a key note speaker for incentive building and is also a promoter of peace by sharing his books, films, and the award-winning Dean and JoJo anti-bullying and peace resolution DVD program with teachers, schools, therapists, and psychologists.
(Photo Credit: MacGillivray Freeman Films)