Young Surfers Agree: Leave Dolphins Wild & Free!
Learning is fun – just ask these young participants at the Ripcurl Kids Surf Competition.
Dolphin Project’s team, led by Indonesia Campaign Director Femke Den Haas, has begun another puppet show road tour. Our first stop was Are Guling Beach, Lombok, an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, in Indonesia. Here, kids were educated through entertainment, learning the importance of marine conservation, and protecting the natural world.
All kids who joined the surfing competition, along with pro surfer Rizal Tanjung (@Rizaltandjung on Instagram) supported our efforts to put an end to the horrific traveling dolphin shows, agreeing that dolphins belong in the sea – and not in circuses.
This is Dolphin Project’s second year bringing puppet shows to remote islands in Indonesia. In January, our team visited the island of Lembata, Flores, where one village, Lamalera, is still legally allowed to hunt dolphins. Traditionally, fishermen would use bamboo harpoons to kill the dolphins, but now, the practice has become modernized. Motorized boats are used to catch dolphins and other toothed whales, sea turtles, sharks and manta rays during a hunting season which extends from May to October of each year. Through puppetry, children in the village learned why protecting dolphins, as well as others species affected by the hunts, is so important to the health and sustainability of their marine environments.
Armed with a mission to create positive, educational programs, our team will continue to bring our puppet show to young and old children alike, to inform and inspire. Education equals empowerment, and kids really do get it!
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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.
A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.
It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.
Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!
"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands