By Ric O’Barry
Dolphin Project has been working on dolphin protection in Indonesia for several years now, partnering with our friends of the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), an outstanding local organization, to stop the illegal captures and exploitation of dolphins in captivity in that country.
Now, in an unprecedented move, international hypermarket giant Carrefour has decided to take affirmative action towards seeing dolphin cruelty in Indonesia come to an end.
Thanks to the relentless and effective campaigning of Femke den Haas and her staff at JAAN, Carrefour has officially withdrawn their support of a traveling circus that features captive dolphins within its shows. Until now, this circus has relied upon Carrefour’s parking lots throughout Indonesia in order to display its suffering animals to the general public. The show includes several dolphins, trucked around Java in a small tank on a flatbed truck, doing stupid tricks like leaping through flaming hoops. The dolphins, according to JAAN’s research, were captured illegally in the waters of an Indonesian national park.
However, all of this is set to change, as outlined in a recent letter addressed to Femke: “Carrefour does not support cruelty against dolphins…Carrefour has decided to stop collaborating with the organizer of the traveling dolphin show, in using it’s premises and parking lots throughout all of…Indonesia”. The letter goes on to reiterate the company’s willingness to take part in solution-oriented initiatives of which JAAN is a part, along with the cooperation of the Indonesian government.
Carrefour was one of three companies that engaged with the circus owners and ultimately enabled their shows to continue. JAAN has sent letters to the other two companies, Lotte Mart and Hero-Giant Supermarkets – no response has been received as of this writing. JAAN will continue to pressure these companies to follow suit with Carrefour and give the dolphins a fighting chance at being released back to their ocean home. Carrefour’s support for dolphins will certainly weigh heavily against any company that considers continuing hosting an awful circus act in their parking lots featuring dolphins trucked around in small tanks.
The plight of the dolphins in this traveling circus has been known for some time, these sentient beings are suffering incredible hardships -living a life that is about as far away from natural as a dolphin can get. It is for this reason that our Dolphin Project Team, along with JAAN, have been working so hard to alleviate this suffering by constructing a seapen in which to rehabilitate and release the captive dolphins.
Our thanks to Carrefour for taking the right position on this issue of captive dolphins. We hope other Indonesian sponsors follow suit. Congrats also to Femke and JAAN for their tenacity in keeping the heat on Carrefour.
It is high time this circus act dried up for good.