Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center

Bali Dolphin Sanctuary

The Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center in Banyuwedang Bay, West Bali, Indonesia is the first ever permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for formerly performing dolphins. In September 2019, BKSDA Bali Forestry Department and the Ministry of Forestry initiated the idea. Working with local partners Jakarta Animal Aid Network to supply the manpower and Dolphin Project to provide the financial support and supervision, the Umah Lumba Center was built. (“Umah Lumba” means “dolphins” in Balinese.)

The facility is designed to stabilize recently confiscated dolphins from captive facilities, or stranded or injured dolphins, return them back to health and to assess whether they are candidates for readaptation and release.

For dolphins deemed releasable, they will be taken to Camp Lumba Lumba Readaptation and Release Center in Karimun Jawa, the world’s first permanent facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of dolphins. The mammals will then be prepared for return into their home range. The location was specifically chosen because the majority of dolphins were captured from the Karimunjawa National Park, and releasing them here would offer a good chance for the mammals to reunite with their family pods.

For dolphins deemed unreleasable, they can retire at the Umah Lumba Center in a safe and healing seapen, and live out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity.

Presently we have three dolphins in our care: Rocky, Rambo and Johnny. Captured in the Java Sea, the dolphins, for several years, were incarcerated in a shallow, heavily chlorinated swimming pool in North Bali. Since their relocation to the Umah Lumba Center, they have benefited from a robust rehabilitation program and continue to undergo regular evaluation towards a possible release.

The dolphins receive 24/7 round-the-clock care. We have a full-time staff veterinarian, security guards and caregivers. The center is a true rehabilitation, release and retirement facility, where our team is committed to making the dolphins’ lives as natural and independent as possible. In March 2020, Dolphin Project, in anticipation of the arrival of additional confiscated dolphins (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) tripled the size of our facility.

As the world’s first permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility in the world, the Umah Lumba Center must be a model of success. Ideally, it will act as a prototype for others to be built globally, as demand for captive dolphins wane.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the difference between the Umah Lumba Center and Camp Lumba Lumba?

Bali, Indonesia is the location we chose for The Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center – the world’s first permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for formerly captive dolphins. The facility is designed to stabilize the mammals, return them back to health and to assess whether they are candidates for readaptation and release.

In Karimun Jawa, is Camp Lumba Lumba – the world’s first permanent facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of dolphins. For dolphins deemed releasable, they will be taken here and prepared and returned into their home range.

For dolphins deemed unreleasable, they can retire at the Umah Lumba Center in a safe and healing seapen, and live out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity.

Can I visit or volunteer at the Umah Lumba Center?

During the dolphins’ recovery and adaptation to their new surroundings at the Umah Lumba Center, they are being closely monitored by our expert team of veterinarians and caregivers. So, we’re not able to accept any volunteers at this time. We do have other volunteer opportunities though!

How big or deep are the facility sea pens?

The facility sea pens are about 15 meters (50 feet) deep. These pens are some of the largest in the world and being situated in calm, natural seawater, boast a variety of fish, squid, crustaceans and other sea life. The size, depth and biological diversity offer a rich and stimulating environment for formerly captive dolphins!

Why don’t the dolphins eat the fish in the sea pens?

During their time in captivity, the dolphins were conditioned to believe that their only food source came from humans. It takes time and rehabilitation for them to re-learn how to forage on their own. Having our facility staff directly give the dolphins live fish is a vital step in assessing whether they are candidates for release.

How can I help?

There are many ways to help support the Umah Lumba Center, including sharing posts about the facility, starting a fundraiser through Facebook or Crowdrise, and adopting a rescued dolphin.

Show Your Support – Adopt A Dolphin

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS

JOHNNY

Johnny at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali Indonesia

Johnny at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali Indonesia

Adopt Johnny

Captured in the Java Sea, Johnny was carted from town to town, and forced to perform in a plastic pool in Indonesia’s traveling circus. His next stop was a heavily chlorinated swimming pool in the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali, where, for many years, this older dolphin was held in isolation. Johnny’s captivity caused him great suffering, including vision loss in one eye, skin damage and an injury to his right pectoral fin. He was also critically underweight. In 2019, we rescued Johnny and transported him to the Umah Lumba Center. He has since gained weight and strength, and spends his days exploring the large sea pen, where he experiences the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. Our 24/7 expert team of veterinarians and caregivers are currently re-assessing Johnny for possible release back into the wild. Adopt Johnny today to help provide for his care!

Johnny Adoption Package

WHAT YOU’LL GET

 

With a recommended minimum donation of $25, you’ll get a personalized adoption certificate for Johnny (its beautiful artwork suitable for framing), gorgeous underwater photos which are perfect for adorning all your electronic devices, Johnny’s biography, Dolphin Facts, a Dolphin Warrior booklet and quarterly updates about Johnny!

Adopt Johnny

ROCKY

Rocky in floating sea pen, Bali, Indonesia.

Rocky at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia

Adopt Rocky

Imagine being captured from the wild, then forced to perform in one of the world’s most abusive shows – the traveling dolphin circus. That’s what happened to Rocky. But it didn’t end there. After spending years as a circus performer, he was then sold to the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali, where, for 10 years, he was confined to a small swimming pool interacting with an endless stream of tourists. Since we rescued Rocky in 2019, here, in the crystal clear waters of the Umah Lumba Center, he has gained weight and strength, and is once again enjoying the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. Our 24/7 expert team of veterinarians and caregivers have evaluated Rocky for release back into the wild and it would appear he is a good candidate. Adopt Rocky today to help provide for his care!

Rocky adopt a dolphin package

WHAT YOU’LL GET

 

With a recommended minimum donation of $25, you’ll get a personalized adoption certificate for Rocky (its beautiful artwork suitable for framing), gorgeous underwater photos which are perfect for adorning all your electronic devices, Rocky’s biography, Dolphin Facts, a Dolphin Warrior booklet and quarterly updates about Rocky!

Adopt Rocky

RAMBO

Rambo at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia

Rambo at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia

Adopt Rambo

It’s hard to envision the suffering endured by Rambo, violently captured from the ocean and forced to perform in Indonesia’s notorious traveling dolphin circus. If that wasn’t enough, this young dolphin was then confined inside a small swimming pool in the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali, and, day after day, was forced to perform for paying tourists during loud theatrical shows. Since his rescue in 2019, Rambo continues to rehabilitate at the Umah Lumba Center and has transformed into a highly energetic individual that is full of life. Our 24/7 expert team of veterinarians and caregivers have evaluated Rambo for release back into the wild and it would appear he is a good candidate. Adopt Rambo today to help provide for his care!

Rambo adopt a dolphin package

WHAT YOU’LL GET

 

With a recommended minimum donation of $25, you’ll get a personalized adoption certificate for Rambo (its beautiful artwork suitable for framing), gorgeous underwater photos which are perfect for adorning all your electronic devices, Rambo’s biography, Dolphin Facts, a Dolphin Warrior booklet and quarterly updates about Rambo!

Adopt Rambo

SUPPORT THE UMAH LUMBA REHABILITATION, RELEASE AND RETIREMENT CENTER

 

Remembering Dewa

DewaCaptured in the Java Sea, Dewa was an older dolphin who was severely affected by the trauma he suffered during his confinement at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali. There, he spent years confined in the hotel’s shallow, heavily chlorinated swimming pool, exploited in a commercial dolphin-assisted therapy program for people with paralysis and other disabilities. Our rescue team transferred Dewa from the swimming pool to our facility on October 8, 2019. Since we introduced Dewa to natural sea water, his condition improved but he was still plagued with several health problems including chronic pneumonia. Sadly, Dewa succumbed to his longstanding illness and took his last breath on March 11, 2020.

 

 

Remembering Gombloh

Gombloh dolphin MelkaGombloh was captured in the Java Sea and, sadly, did not survive his encounter with humans. Gombloh died at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali on August 3, 2019, just two days before our team was able to rescue Gombloh’s beloved companion Rambo. We are happy we arrived at the hotel in time to rescue Rambo, Rocky, Dewa, and Johnny from the shallow and heavily chlorinated swimming pools, but at the same time heartbroken that we got there too late to get Gombloh out of there. We will always remember Gombloh, who is one of countless dolphins to have fallen victim to consumers’ demand to watch dolphins perform and to swim with them.

The Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center and Camp Lumba Lumba Readaptation and Release Center form an incredible partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, BKSDA Bali, Dolphin Project, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Karimunjawa National Park and the West Bali National Park. Together, we built Umah Lumba, the world’s only permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for previously captive dolphins and Camp Lumba Lumba, the world’s first permanent facility dedicated to the readaptation and release of dolphins in Kemujan, Karimun Jawa. Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project has pioneered readaptation for captive dolphins and has released a number of dolphins into the wild.

Bali Dolphin Sanctuary Partners

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.

© 2021 Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project. All Rights Reserved.


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