Image Source: https://sea.mashable.com/
Just a year ago, these three dolphins were being abused.
They were forced to perform for human entertainment at the Melka Hotel, kept in shallow swimming pools filled with harmful chemicals such as chlorine and mistreated to the point of becoming underweight and blind.
But they were rescued from their suffering.
And now a year after their rescue, the three dolphins will become the first residents of the Bali Dolphin Sanctuary, which claims to be the world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary and retirement center in Indonesia.
Run by US-based non-profit organization Dolphin Project and jointly built by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) in Bali, and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), the Bali Dolphin Sanctuary is opening its doors to its three new residents Rambo, Johnny, and Rocky.
“As the world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary in the world, the Bali Dolphin Sanctuary must be a model of success,” its description on its website reads.
“Ideally, it will act as a prototype for others to be built globally, as demand for captive dolphins wane.”
Ric O’Barry, animal activist and founder of the Dolphin Project, told Reuters that the team is hoping to duplicate the sanctuary in Italy and Crete.
“It’s more stressful for dolphins in captivity than any other animal we’ll see at the zoo,” O’Barry said. O’Barry is an outspoken advocate against keeping dolphins in captivity and was featured in the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which shined light on the yearly dolphin hunt in Japan.
The Bali Dolphin Sanctuary will function as a rehabilitation center to nurse dolphins back to health, helping them adapt to living in the wild, and also acting as a retirement center for dolphins who are unable to be released.
“Often they switch off the sonar when they are kept in captivity, so that’s one of the main tasks of the team here to prepare them for their life in the wild,” Femke Den Haas, who runs the rehabilitation centre, said to Reuters.
While two of the dolphins, Rambo and Rocky, will have a chance to return to the ocean and be soon transferred to another facility named Camp Lumba Lumba which will help prepare them to return to the wild, Johnny will be retiring at the sanctuary and live out the rest of his natural life in peace.