Circus forces dolphins to stay out of water, lie on dry plastic sheets so visitors can take selfies
A video shot in the Indonesian city of Tangerang shows the dolphins strewn on the side of the pool with their mouths gaping as visitors pat them and take selfies
Developing countries, where animal welfare is still in its nascent stages, are notorious for stories of cruelty towards animals. In one such incident, a video has emerged on Facebook that shows dolphins being forced to stay out of the water so that visitors can take selfies with them.
The video has been shot in the Indonesian city of Tangerang, where these mammals are seen strewn on the side of the pool with their mouths gaping as visitors pat them, without the slightest concern for their well-being.
The video was posted by Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia, an organization that is urging the government to stop this cruelty and take appropriate action.
"Dolphins are forced out of the water so visitors can touch them. This action can injure the dolphins. Their delicate skin rubs against the rough floor surface and guardrail. Being out of water for long periods of time can hurt dolphins physically and psychologically," the group's post said.
In a letter to the Minister of Environment and Forestry Republic of Indonesia, the group wrote that "these attractions are a form of animal abuse and exploitation" and that "animal trainers and showmen frequently engage in negative reinforcement, whipping and striking animals, forcing them to carry out unnatural tricks and demonstrating that the animals can only be 'controlled' by pain and fear."
The group also revealed that these captive dolphins used in the business were made to "kiss" the visitors so that they could take photos.
"Stress caused by such conditions can cause severe behavioral and physiological problems for captive wild animals," the group informed adding, "Even worse, society, in particular, children, become desensitized to animal suffering."
In the video, the two dolphins lay motionless and stretched out on plastic sheets as one visitor after another comes, touches them and poses. These mammals are reportedly made to perform in temporary pools made for these circuses and the chlorinated pool water can turn these dolphins blind.
In an earlier interview with The Dodo, Femke Den Haas, founder of Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) has said, "They go blind. It's like when you go in the pool, and after an hour, your eyes hurt because you're exposed to chlorine all the time. And they get skin diseases and they also get ulcers because chlorine gets into their body."
After their show for the particular circus is finished, they are reportedly put into containers and transported to the next location.
“All circus animals suffer and are abused, day after day,” Namira Annisa, spokesperson for Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia, told the website. “They languish in these circuses, away from their natural habitats. But these circuses argue that the use of animals is ‘education.’ Is it? The public has been wrongly informed.”