Dolphins are among the most complex and intelligent species on the planet. They are self-aware and have the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror and notice changes in their appearance. And just like us, they share deep social and emotional bonds with their pod members. Studies have also shown that dolphins have personalized whistles for members in the pod, similar to how humans give each other names. Despite all of this, humans still continue to use dolphins for our paltry entertainment.

In recent footage taken by Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), which is part of the Asia for Animals (AfA) network alongside Animals Asia, we see two dolphins being transported on an Indonesian airline, Sriwijaya Air, for a traveling circus. JAAN works locally with the Dolphin Project to raise awareness for the plight of captive marine animals. In the video, the two dolphins are being loaded on to the plane in a crate that is very obviously not natural. “The crates the dolphins are boxed into are barely the size of their body. What a bewildering, stressful and horrific experience for an animal which naturally roams hundreds of miles with family and extended social group,” notes David Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director.


According to Animals Asia, Indonesia is the last country in the world still hosting traveling dolphin circuses, with three companies believed to own over 70 dolphins. The poor dolphins are taken from the wild to spend a life in misery, performing for humans. Captivity, lack of social relationships and natural behaviors, unsuitable pool water, and the noise of crowds will ultimately harm, and even kill, these amazing animals. In some heartbreaking instances, dolphins can choose to consciously stop breathing and end their own lives. In a statement from Animals Asia, it’s explained, “In the wild, dolphins can expect to live up to 50 years, while those in the circus don’t survive anything like that long. JAAN and the Dolphin Project suspect the dolphins are dying perhaps as young as five years old as it is known they are being regularly replaced.” This is no way for an intelligent being to live.

Please sign the petition asking Sriwijaya Air to stop supporting cruelty and urge your friends and family to do the same! 

Lead Image Source: Andrew Brigmond/Free Images