Dolphin Cruelty: From Little Things, We're Hoping Big Things May Grow


So, here's the thing. We spent weeks researching and writing a feature – replete with a three minute accompanying video – highlighting the breathtaking hypocrisy of Australians railing against animal cruelty in Indonesia, while ignoring precisely the same practices on our own shores.

Australian outrage, it seems, is pretty selective.

In case you missed it, our story is here and an op ed from Australia for Dolphins is here.

And just for good measure, here’s the video again.

The story was in response to a petition launched by a Sydney surfer who visited Bali for holidays, and was appalled to find that dolphins were being held in small, chlorinated pools and tourists were paying to ride them, and receive ‘kisses’.

Fair enough.

That petition went viral, and at last count has attracted more than 400,000 signatures.

Precisely the same practice is occurring in Australia, at Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast.

Six dolphins are being held in small, chlorinated pools, and tourists are paying almost $500 to ride them, and get a kiss.

Bucky, whose been performing at Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour for almost 50 years.

So New Matilda started a petition to end that practice as well… we’ve just topped the 1,000 mark. In other words, there’s a bit of work to do.

We have more reporting on the story planned for next week. If you’re able, please sign our petition, and encourage your friends and family too as well.

Bucky (pictured above), a dolphin held in captivity at DMM for almost 50 years (while he drags tourists) will thank you.

So will the other dolphins and seals who live in small, chlorinated pools… just like the animals in Bali.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. Chris has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards for his reporting.