Our good friends the Jakarta Animal Aid Network have been working alongside Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project for many years for the closure of Sirkus Lumba – the last remaining travelling show to feature dolphins forced to perform degrading tricks.
Back in 2012, AfA lent support to the issue when our coalition came together to author a series of appeal letters to government officials urging them not to renew the permits for Sirkus Lumba and other travelling circus acts just like it. We continued to send these letters until in 2018, the Indonesian Minister of Forestry and Environment told us that he would not allow the permits to be renewed. Effectively this meant that the existing ones would eventually expire and the travelling circuses would no longer be allowed to operate. That day has finally come. Read our letter thanking the Minister for his decision.
As if cetacean captivity were not already horrendous enough, the issue is worsened for travelling dolphins who are are regularly loaded in to transport tanks, frightened and unable to move.
Image Credit: Dolphin Project
So it is no wonder that our dedicated friends did not rest until this victory was attained. The last ten years working on the ground there have been a roller coaster for them – one minute shaking hands with compassionate officials, the next minute, Ric having to resort to wearing a bullet proof vest in fear of his safety because of the circuses’ smear campaign against animal activists.