As you can see, they are trained to jump through fiery rings and also are made to clutch basketballs with their pectoral fins.
As you might expect, many people are up in arms about the way that these dolphins are being treated. When the show is over, they are put into small pools and cages for travel, another issue with the format.
A spokesman for the group, Lincoln O’Barry, said this: ‘As hard as it is to believe, dolphin traveling circuses are a big hit in Indonesia. It’s pretty barbaric. It’s the only time I’ve seen dolphins jumping through a hoop of fire. It’s definitely something from a bygone era.’
‘The animals are frequently hauled out of their plastic performing pools and loaded into the back of trucks along with other animals as the circuses move from town to town.’
‘While all captive dolphin facilities have welfare issues, the circuses in Indonesia seem decidedly crueler because they’re traveling. The transportation is so stressful for the animals that many of the dolphins die due to this stress and lack of proper care.’
And we thought that Japan was the face of illegal animal hunting, apparently Indonesia is doing its best to keep up. ‘There is also evidence that all of the dolphins have all been caught illegally from the wild,’ said someone with knowledge of the circus.
They then travel hundreds of miles in pools with chlorine and artificial salt water. At 6 feet long, it cannot be a comfortable journey.
Femke Den Haas, founder of Jakarta Animal Aid Network, said: ‘It’s extremely cruel. When I first learned about the traveling dolphin shows, I couldn’t believe it. Dolphins are acoustic animals, so it’s hell for them. They’re in so much pain being exposed to this amount of noise.’