Bali Sanctuary

Bali Sanctuary - World’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary

In July 2019, Dolphin Project and our local partners Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) were notified that the government of Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry intended to confiscate a variety of wild animals, including four dolphins, held at the Melka Hotel, on the island of Bali.

We moved quickly to assess the four dolphins, discovering that two were in stable condition and able to leave the resort. The other two were held at the hotel facilities to treat ongoing health issues.

In August 2019, the first two dolphins, Rocky and Rambo, were successfully moved into a temporary sea pen and continue to undergo evaluation for retirement or eventual release into their home range. In October 2019, the remaining two dolphins, Johnny and Dewa, were moved to the world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary. The latter two dolphins do not appear to be candidates for release, however they will be able to remain in this sanctuary, living out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity.

Ric O’Barry traveled to Indonesia to facilitate and advise on the transfers, and has been on site to evaluate their progress, as well as oversee the construction of the sanctuary. During the dolphins’ recovery and adaptation to their new surroundings, they are being closely monitored by our expert team of caregivers. We are not able to accept any volunteers. Keep following our social media and continue to check here for updates.

Rambo

Rambo in floating sea pen, Bali Indonesia.

Rambo in floating sea pen, Bali Indonesia. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Rambo is one of four dolphins that the Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Dolphin Project team rescued from a small, filthy swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, North Bali, Indonesia. Rambo has been used in shows and a captive dolphin swim program for holiday makers. We have been unable to find any records of when Rambo was captured. We do know, however, that he was captured in Central Java, where most of the wild-caught captive dolphins in Indonesia come from. Rambo was destined to spend the rest of his life performing tricks for rewards of dead fish and dealing with crowds of tourists who want to kiss, hug, and ride him.

Rambo is now on the road to recovery. Since being transferred to a floating sea enclosure, he can once again enjoy the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. He is benefitting from the healing properties of natural sea water, gaining weight and strength. Hopefully, with time, he will heal from some – or all – of the trauma that he has endured in the hands of humans. He will never again have to perform tricks for food rewards of dead fish or take tourists for rides in a small tank. All of that is behind him. There are many improvements to come in this dolphin’s life. His journey back to his natural home range has only just begun. Whether Rambo can be released or not remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: we will do everything in our power to ensure the rest of his life is filled with peace and dignity.

Dewa

Dewa swimming in sanctuary waters, Bali, Indonesia.

Dewa swimming in sanctuary waters, Bali, Indonesia. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Dewa is one of four dolphins that the Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Dolphin Project team rescued from a small, filthy swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, North Bali, Indonesia. Dewa has been used in shows and a captive dolphin swim program for holiday makers. We have been unable to find any records of when Dewa was captured. We do know, however, that he was captured in Central Java, where most of the wild-caught captive dolphins in Indonesia come from. Several of Dewa’s teeth are missing, with only five teeth left in his mouth.

Dewa is on the road to recovery, but will need special care for the rest of his life. Now that he has been transferred to the world’s first dolphin permanent dolphin sanctuary. he can once again enjoy the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. He will never again have to perform tricks for food rewards of dead fish or take tourists for rides in a small tank. All of that is behind him. There are many improvements to come in this dolphin’s life. His journey back to his natural home range has only just begun. We will do everything in our power to ensure the rest of his life is filled with peace and dignity.

Rocky

Rocky in floating sea pen, Bali, Indonesia.

Rocky in floating sea pen, Bali, Indonesia. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Rocky is one of four dolphins that the Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Dolphin Project team rescued from a small, filthy swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, North Bali, Indonesia. Rocky has been used in shows and a captive dolphin swim program for holiday makers. We have been unable to find any records of when Rocky was captured. We do know, however, that he was captured in Central Java, where most of the wild-caught captive dolphins in Indonesia come from. Rocky was destined to spend the rest of his life performing tricks for rewards of dead fish and dealing with crowds of tourists who want to kiss, hug, and ride him.

Rocky is now on the road to recovery. Since being transferred to a floating sea enclosure, he can once again enjoy the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. He is benefitting from the healing properties of natural sea water, gaining weight and strength. Hopefully, with time, he will heal from some – or all – of the trauma that he has endured in the hands of humans. He will never again have to perform tricks for food rewards of dead fish or take tourists for rides in a small tank. All of that is behind him. There are many improvements to come in this dolphin’s life. His journey back to his natural home range has only just begun. Whether Rocky can be released or not remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: we will do everything in our power to ensure the rest of his life is filled with peace and dignity.

Johnny

Johnny swimming in sanctuary waters, Bali, Indonesia.

Johnny swimming in sanctuary waters, Bali, Indonesia. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Johnny is one of four dolphins that the Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Dolphin Project team rescued from a small, filthy swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, North Bali, Indonesia. Johnny has been used in shows and a captive dolphin swim program for holiday makers. We have been unable to find any records of when Johnny was captured. We do know, however, that he was captured in Central Java, where most of the wild-caught captive dolphins in Indonesia come from. Johnny is blind, likely caused by chlorine toxicity, and several of his teeth are missing.

Johnny is on the road to recovery, but will need special care for the rest of his life. Now that he has been transferred to the world’s first dolphin permanent dolphin sanctuary. he can once again enjoy the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. He will never again have to perform tricks for food rewards of dead fish or take tourists for rides in a small tank. All of that is behind him. There are many improvements to come in this dolphin’s life. His journey back to his natural home range has only just begun. We will do everything in our power to ensure the rest of his life is filled with peace and dignity.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible as authorized by law.

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