• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

TV's Bob Barker donates $5M to save whales

January 6, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a war over whales, and it's escalating after a Japanese whaling ship rammed a boat full of protesters. A game show legend is heavily involved in the campaign to save the whales.Bob Barker is a longtime animal activist, and he is speaking out about Japanese whalers and the money he's gladly given to help put them out of business.

"We must make people aware and that's what I try to do," said Barker.

Barker wants you to be aware that Japanese whalers plan to kill more than 1,000 whales this winter, and that there's a worldwide moratorium on whale hunting. But Japan claims its hunt is for scientific research. Barker says anyone in the know isn't buying it.

"They sell these whales. They sell the meat. Principally, it's on the supermarket shelves," said Barker.

When Barker heard Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson thought he could put an end to the whole industry with $5 million, Barker wrote a check for the full amount.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed earning what money I have, and I'm thoroughly enjoying giving it away," explained Barker.

But no sooner had that $5 million gone to a vessel named "The Bob Barker" than one of the society's two other vessels ended up on a collision course with a Japanese whaler off Antarctica.

The conservationists say they were deliberately rammed, but representatives of the whalers say the activists are to blame and that it was an apparent miscalculation.

"Well, Paul says as of today, that the Japanese have made it a war, and he said if they think that we're going to retreat, they're wrong," said Barker. "Now what has happened today out there in the Antarctic could be a real plus for our battle to save these whales. Now that this has happened, there are more people talking about it tonight probably than ever before."

Barker is talking about this to make a point.

"Because if we don't control this, we're not going to have whales, and they're such wonderful creatures," said Barker.