A female bottlenose dolphin was set free on October 26th by members of the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). The dolphin was captured in Jepara, Indonesia, on the north coast of Java on October 22nd.
As is often the case in Indonesia, local fishermen catch dolphins in their nets and then place a call to the traveling dolphin shows. Collected under the guise of a “rescue,” the dolphins are trained and then absorbed into the circus, to perform for the public.
The bottlenose had been held for five days when JAAN received a tip from a local about the animal’s capture. JAAN members, who work to help stop the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia, rushed to Jepara and found the dolphin being held in a fish pen. Indonesian authorities warned them that if the dolphin was sick they would transport her to a circus facility for treatment, but the Network assured them that the animal was fine.
“The government joining the action to release the trapped dolphin back to the wild is a big deal. It’s the first step that we’ve been hoping for, that the Indonesian Government can once and for all end the traveling dolphin circus and enforce the law” Pram Harzani
With the assistance of Indonesian officials and local fishermen, Dolphin Project’s Indonesian Coordinator /JAAN‘s Pram Harzani, safely released the dolphin back to the ocean along with other members of JAAN. Dolphins are a protected species in Indonesia.
UPDATED VIDEO OF THE DOLPHIN RESCUE & RELEASE
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project has been working with the JAAN to end the traveling circus for over 3 years. Most of the dolphins in the circus were taken illegally from the Karamun Jawa National Park. We hope to soon start readapting and releasing the dolphins at Camp Lumba Lumba, one of the only permanent dolphin rehab centers in the world.
“Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come in Indonesia, this is a great first step. I’m very proud of the team in Indonesia” Ric O’Barry
Photo Credit/JAAN. With the help of Indonesian authorities, Jakarta Animal Aid Network returns a captured dolphin back to the ocean. Elizabeth Batt contributed to this article.