Traveling Dolphin Circuses in Indonesia – A Call to Action!

By Ric O’Barry


Dolphin Project



We have all heard of those traveling circuses that transport their captive animals from city to city, forcing them to perform in an endless cycle of depressing servitude.

What you probably haven’t heard of is dolphins being featured as the main act.

As hard as it is to believe, dolphin traveling circuses are a big hit in Indonesia. There are three separate companies running these inhumane operations, much to the delight of the uninformed spectators who pay pennies each to see the dolphins perform. There are 72 dolphins currently enslaved in Indonesia illegally, many of which are in captivity in these three traveling circuses.

The video below highlights the need to put these atrocities to an end. I have been working closely with the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) to lobby the Indonesian government to release the dolphins, many of whom were illegally poached from their ocean homes.  JAAN and the Dolphin Project have constructed a sea pen, where the dolphins would be rehabilitated and released back to the wild.

However, the government has not issued promised permits to JAAN and Dolphin Project for these illegal dolphins, despite a previous agreement to turn over these abused animals. Read more about the ongoing situation here.  JAAN and Dolphin Project are pursuing legal efforts and media attention to put pressure on the government to take action.




You can help.  Urge the President of Indonesia to provide the captive dolphins to Jakarta Animal Aid Network and Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, which are the ONLY organizations in Indonesia with the expertise, equipment, facilities and proven ability to care for, rehabilitate, and release captive dolphins back into the wild.

Call, FAX or E-mail the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC:

The Hon. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President

Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia

Tel (202) 775 5200

Fax (202) 775 5365

Contact E-mail Form:

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About Ric O'Barry

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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$.

Author: Ric O'Barry


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