Wersut Seguni’s Indonesian Traveling Dolphin Circus, known as the “world’s cruelest dolphin circus,” will no longer travel with its captive dolphins. According to Dolphin Project, The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry chose not to renew its permits after a decade of campaigning by animal activists.
As of February 5, the dolphin trading company Wersut Seguni Indonesia will “finally” have to close its traveling circus tents. “This is a historic day for all of us involved,” said Dolphin Project’s Indonesian Campaign Manager, Femke den Haas. “Since 2009 when the traveling dolphin show first started, we have worked tirelessly.”
Cara Sands, a Dolphin Project representative, described the cruel conditions experienced by traveling dolphins.
“The dolphins recruited for the traveling circuses were transported,” says Sands. “From village to village, from city to city, for a period of four weeks at each location. Dolphin Project’s Indonesian team documented their travels and obtained footage of dolphins spending up to three days in coffin-like boxes.”
According to Dolphin Project, dolphins performed in restrictive and over-chlorinated pools potent enough to burn patrons eyes. Captive dolphins performed up to five times per day, including jumping through hoops and “dancing” to loud music.
Despite the restrictions placed upon the Indonesian Traveling Dolphin Circus, Wersut Seguni Indonesia will continue with dolphin performances at a permanent facility located in Central Java. The facility contains 20 to 30 captive dolphins.
According to Dolphin Project, the living conditions of captive dolphins are significantly different from those they experience in the wild. Unfamiliar groupings, cramped environments, food deprivation, and bare surroundings are all commonplace for the social and energetic animals.
“A pod of wild dolphins can travel up to 100 kilometers a day in the open ocean,” says Dolphin Project. “Each member plays an integral role in ensuring the health and well-being of the group, and families frequently remain together for life.”
American marine park company SeaWorld recently announced that it would ban dolphin surfing during its shows. The decision followed pressure from animal rights activists and celebrities, including Alec Baldwin, Noah Cyrus, Jessica Biel, and Ewan McGregor.
Several prominent travel companies and airlines have ceased to work with SeaWorld due to the controversy surrounding animal welfare. British Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Holidays, WestJet, and Air Canada have all now severed ties with the company.