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An Indonesian circus company's dolphin show has garnered a tremendous amount of international attention recently because of the treatment of the mammals being forced to jump out of the water for prolonged periods of time to pose for selfies.

Photos and videos taken by the Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia show a duo of dolphins being forced onto land at one of the country's traveling circuses so that paying guests can take selfies with them as well as kiss the distressed animals.

The dolphins are held in tiny temporary pools filled with chlorinated water before being forced to jump out of the water and slide over guardrails and rough flooring as they approach guests who wait to kiss them and take photos.

In a series of Facebook posts, the group decried the dolphins' mistreatment, saying, "The exploitation and abuse of these animals cannot be justified."

The post goes on to read, "These dolphins are often out of the water for long periods of time. This harms dolphins, physically and psychologically."

Look at the scores of children and adults queuing for a photo with a dolphin

Look at the scores of children and adults queuing for a photo with two dolphins which is out of the pool. This circus is the property of Wersut Seguni Indonesia. Being out of water for a long time can hurt dolphins physically and psychologically. The video footage taken on December 9 in Tangerang Please stand with us in protesting against animal performances in Indonesia. There is still a lot of work to do. But we cannot afford to ignore what is going on around us. Change starts with small steps. We will never give up on animals. You can write politely to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to ask it to put an end to animal circuses in Indonesia: You may use this email draft below if you wish: Dear Minister of Environment & Forestry Republic of Indonesia Siti Nurbaya Bakar Gedung Manggala Wanabakti Blok I Lt. 3 Jalan Gatot Subroto - Senayan Jakarta 10270 Indonesia Sitinurbaya_bakar@yahoo.co.id sitinurbaya.bakar@gmail.com Cc: secretariat@waza.org, datakonservasi@gmail.com, ditkkh@gmail.com, pkbsi@izaa.org Your Excellence, Re: Calls to End Animal Performances at Zoos and Safari Parks I am writing to you to express my deep concerns with regards to the use of animals in performances in zoos and safari parks in Indonesia. We stand against wildlife attractions for the sake of entertainment rather than education. These attractions are a form of animal abuse and exploitation. 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. Performance in the presence of spectators are likely to cause severe stress to captive wild animals. Loud noise is a well-known stressor; acoustical stress within and outside the human hearing range can cause critical alteration in physiological parameters for captive animals. Animals are often housed in small, barren enclosures and released from their confinement only for a few minutes during their performance and for training sessions. Stress caused by such conditions can cause severe behavioural and physiological problems for captive wild animals. Even worse, society, in particular, children, become desensitised to animal suffering. Minister, all this leads to a negative international image of Indonesia, with tourists returning to their home countries reporting cases of animal abuse rather than highlighting the natural beauty and the rich cultural experiences which Indonesia is so famous for. I am appealing to you, Minister, to join the international movement against the use and abuse of animals in performances, and to pass and enforce laws ending animal shows in captive wildlife facilities. Please take action on behalf of animals, who cannot fend for themselves. Thank you

Posted by Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia on Tuesday, December 18, 2018
A photo by the Movement To End Animal Circuses In Indonesia shows a family preparing to take a picture with two dolphins at one of the traveling circuses.

As bad as the show sounds, it only gets worse for the dolphins. Following each "performance," the dolphins are loaded on stretchers and placed into boxes to be transported to the next show, as reported by conservation website The Dodo.

"I think having to travel all the time in the stretchers would cause chafing on the skin," said Lincoln O'Barry, campaigns coordinator at Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project. "Dolphins are also used to living in the water --- their organs are used to living in that weightless condition. I'm sure spending so much time out of the water also affects their physiology."

A photo by the Movement To End Animal Circuses In Indonesia shows a dolphin swimming in a small, makeshift pool filled with chlorinated water.

In addition to being held out of water for extended periods of time, the dolphins are also forced to live in chlorinated pools, not the saltwater they are accustomed to in their natural habitat. This too, can lead to severe health issues.

"They go blind," said Femke Den Haas, founder of Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). "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."

A photo by the Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia shows a bear posing only a few feet away from one of the show's dolphins.

The abuse doesn't end with the dolphins - these circuses also feature otters, sun bears, and even cockatoos for any number of performances and photo opportunities. To display how unsafe these conditions can be, the Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia took photos of a sun bear putting on a show just a few feet away from a dolphin who jumps onto the platform.

The treatment of all these animals is terrible, and there's no denying it. However, there might be some good news. The Dodo reported that one of the traveling circuses - the Indonesian Oriental Circus - recently stopped using animals in its shows. Namira Annisa, spokesperson for Movement to End Animal Circuses in Indonesia hopes that other traveling circuses will follow suit.

"This has set an important precedent, and we hope that many other circuses will follow," Annisa said.

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