When Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending marine animal captivity, recently learned about the three dolphins who were illegally caught in the wild and used in Indonesia’s traveling dolphin circus, they wasted no time gathering a team to visit the Menjangan Shark Pool to see the animals. The attraction, located in Kariminjawa, Indonesia, is known for allowing visitors to take “selfies” with sharks … clearly, the dolphins were in danger and needed rescue fast.
The three captured dolphins included two spinner dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin, all of which were in poor condition, the Dolphin Project notes. The bottlenose dolphin was horrifically covered in rope burns, lacerations and had possible internal injuries due to a violent capture. All three were destined to be sold to traveling dolphin circuses, where they would have been held captive for years and forced to perform meaningless tricks for humans.
Dolphin Project’s Indonesian marine mammal team and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, with help from the Central Java Marine Police, Karimunjawa Army Unit, Karimunjawa Navy Unit and Rangers of the Karimunjawa National Park arrived at the Menjangan Shark Pool but were sadly too late for the bottlenose dolphin. She had already passed, but the team refused to give up on the remaining two spinner dolphins.
The two spinner dolphins were named Kari and Munjawa, one male and one female. They were relocated by a police boat to Camp Lumba Lumba, which is Dolphin Project’s permanent dolphin rehabilitation center inside the Karimunjawa National Park.
Despite doing everything they could for Kari, he sadly passed due to the extensive injuries sustained during capture.
Even though she continued to search for Kari, Munjawa was deemed releasable by the team. She was brought back to deep waters away from the pen, in case she kept looking for her friend.
The Dolphin Project hopes Munjawa will soon be able to rejoin her pod as they have noted other Spinners in the area.
Check out the below video to watch the full rescue and release!
No dolphin belongs in captivity. As one of the most intelligent and complex creatures on this planet, trapping them in tiny tanks is beyond cruel. It’s not hard to see that they do not enjoy captivity as most imprisoned dolphins exhibit clear signs of distress and zoochosis.
No animal should have to suffer for the sake of our entertainment. Please never visit or otherwise support a marine park like SeaWorld or Marineland. Instead, support organizations like Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project who are working to free captive animals and raise awareness. Be sure to share this post so more people can learn about this important issue!
Image Source: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project