Shocking footage and photographs have emerged which show dolphins being forced to jump through hoops of fire at an Indonesian animal show.
Animal rights campaigners say the show is barbaric after videos emerged showing the mammals swimming on their backs holding onto basketballs with their fins. A trainer is seen beating the water after a pair of dolphins did not get one of the tricks right.
Other animals at the same show, including bears and otters, were see performing tricks before they were shoved back into tiny cages and pools and then put back onto a truck, ready for their next show.
Campaigners at Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project are calling for the practice to be banned after taking shots at a travelling cirus in Indonesia. Lincoln O’Barry from the organisation said that hard as it was to believe, travelling circuses involving dolphins were hugely popular in Indonesia.
Jumping through flames
He said: “It’s pretty barbaric. It’s the only time I’ve seen dolphins jumping through a hoop of fire. It’s definitely something from a bygone era.” He said that while there were welfare problems with all facilities where dolphins are captive, circuses in Indonesia have even bigger issues because they are travelling.
Mr O’Barry said that the dolphins are hauled out of plastic pools where they perform and then put on the back of trucks as circuses move from location to location. He said that dolphins often died because they were so stressed by the transportation and they did not receive proper care.
The organisation believes that some dophins have been caught illegally from the wild, to be used in circuses. In the recent footage, dolphins can be seen jumping through narrow hoops as flames brush their skin. They are then loaded back into pools filled with chlorine and artificial salt water.