Bali, 1-15-20: It’s been five and-a-half months since the closure of the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, North Bali, Indonesia, along with our team’s confiscation of several species of animals including Rocky and Rambo, two performing bottlenose dolphins who had lived in deplorable conditions there. Two months following, the remaining bottlenose dolphins, Johnny and Dewa were removed from their enclosure inside a chlorinated pool after being exploited in swim-with-dolphins programs at the same facility.
All four dolphins are now rehabilitating in the world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary in Banyuwedang Bay in West Bali. Never again will they have to perform tricks for dead fish, be enclosed in unnatural environments or be forced to interact with paying tourists.
None of this could have been accomplished without the support of our local partners, the Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), along with the extraordinary efforts of Ms. Indra Exploitasia, Director of Biodiversity Conservation and Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry. And, thanks to you, we are able to provide ongoing care for our rescued dolphins, and will continue to do so 24/7.
BALI SANCTUARY UPDATE
We are pleased to report that Rocky, Rambo, Johnny and Dewa continue to recover from their years held captive in deplorable conditions. Here’s a brief update on our rescued dolphins:
Rocky is a young, male dolphin who loves to play and swim as fast as he can. He jumps, deep dives and communicates frequently with his fellow dolphins. He has one problem eye, but since being relocated into the pristine sanctuary waters, his eye has begun to heal. He has a full set of healthy teeth which we hope can assist him in hunting live fish. For now, our focus is on increasing his weight as he continues to be very skinny.
This beautiful young male, like Rocky, is very energetic and agile. His day is filled with play and exploration, and when he takes a moment to rest, Rocky will encourage him to continue his activities. Rambo also enjoys deep diving and spends much of his time underwater. His appetite has improved greatly since being freed from his previous confinement.
Based upon our ongoing comprehensive medical examinations, Johnny is an older male who has suffered in captivity for several years. Johnny was held in a tank alone as he was used in swim-with programs. He has lost much muscular strength in his flippers and as a result of his confinement, had to endure the partial loss of one flipper. However, since being relocated into the sanctuary, he has been exploring, swimming and inviting Dewa to play. Johnny is the smallest of the four rescued dolphins, and like Dewa, he has no teeth. Despite his suffering, Johnny’s skin has shown dramatic improvement and he continues to heal, both physically and emotionally.
Dewa is also an older male, and is the largest dolphin in our care. Dewa suffers from emotional disorders and during his former confinement, engaged in self-harm activities, causing him to bleed and wound himself. Since being relocated to the sanctuary, his cuts have healed but he is still underweight. As his activity increases, so has his appetite and we continue to work on increasing Dewa’s bodyweight. While Johnny often invites Dewa to play, solitude is something this dolphin enjoys as well.
Our Bali Dolphin Sanctuary is the first of its kind in the world to care for formerly captive dolphins. The transformation of Rocky, Rambo, Johnny and Dewa is an incredible, ongoing process. Together, we can ensure they continue to receive the best care possible, and enjoy their lives free from captive exploitation. Please consider becoming a monthly supporter today!
Featured image: Rocky, Rambo, Johnny and Dewa in captivity at the Melka Excelsior Hotel before being relocated to the Bali Dolphin Sanctuary, credit: DolphinProject.com