Carrefour Sides with the Dolphins
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Thanks to the relentless and effective campaigning of Femke den Haas and her staff at JAAN, Carrefour has officially withdrawn their support of a traveling circus that features captive dolphins within its shows.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.
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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.
In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.
From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.
Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.
O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.
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