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Jakarta Post

Dolphin circuses persist despite government assurances

  • Mary Baines

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 12 2013   /  11:14 am

On fire: A dolphin at one of the traveling circuses is trained to jump through a ring of fire for a paying audience.Conservation groups have become increasingly frustrated with a perceived lack of action by the government, which agreed more than two years ago to rescue illegally held dolphins from traveling circuses.

But at a public discussion last Tuesday, they were given some hope when Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan went on the record to say traveling circuses were illegal, that he would close them down and called on NGOs for support.

Indonesia is home to the world’s last remaining traveling dolphin circuses. The intelligent sea mammals are trained to jump through rings of fire, are hauled from town to town under poor conditions and the high levels of chlorine in their shallow plastic pools can cause blindness and burn their skin. Many die due to stress, chlorine tox...