"It's cruelty at its worst," Femke Den Haas, founder of the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), told The Dodo. "Dolphins are supposed to live in the ocean where their bodies are light. When they're out of the water, gravity hurts them. The noise would also hurt them, and the extreme stress they are exposed to is killing them."
In Indonesia, traveling dolphin circuses are essentially like SeaWorld-on-wheels. They travel all around Indonesia, erecting temporary pools and stages, and making dolphins - as well as other animals like sun bears and otters - perform tricks for paying guests.