Indonesian Sanctuary Releases Saved Bottlenose Dolphins from Captivity

Three bottlenose dolphins were released back into their natural habitat after rescuing and nurturing them from a resort hotel that bought them for entertainment purposes.
Bottlenose dolphin jumps in the water along with her calves.

An Indonesian sanctuary released three bottlenose dolphins after rescuing them in 2019 from captivity in a resort hotel. Johnny, Rocky and Rambo swim into the open sea to regain their freedom after getting adequate care that nurtured them to their excellent health.

Bottlenose Dolphins Rescued From Entertainment Purposes

In 2019, three bottlenose dolphins – Johnny, Rocky, and Rambo – were saved from Melka Excelsior Hotel’s small pool in Bali, Indonesia. The resort bought the marine mammals for entertainment after spending decades in a travelling circus. Before releasing them back into the ocean, the Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center took care of the aquatic species.

“It was an incredibly emotional experience to see them go. They turned back around and came back to us one more time, almost to say thank you and goodbye. Where they head next, we don’t know. But we wish them a good long life,” said Lincoln O’Barry, founder of Umah Lumba, which means dolphin in Indonesian.

A nonprofit organization, the Dolphin Project helped save the bottlenose dolphins. Former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry established the institution in 1970 and is the father of Lincoln O’Barry. The older O’Barry trained Flipper from the 1960 tv show. He was also present in the freeing of the three saved dolphins.

Rescued Dolphins Get Their Freedom Back

At last, the three marine mammals got their freedom back and swam into the open sea. After spending three years in the sanctuary, they were released into the wild where they belong and will live freely.

After the sanctuary opens the gate, the dolphins just watched the opening, not sure of what to do next. After some time, they went into the open sea and started to jump over rough waters. The younger O’Barry documented the dolphin’s release using drones and underwater footage to film them.

Workers at the sanctuary clapped their hands in delight when the dolphins headed their way to the sea. Rehabilitation coordinator, Wahyu Lestari said she was a little unhappy to see them leave. The released sea creatures will be observed and tracked at sea with a GPS tracking device for one year.

The Indonesian government backed the bottlenose dolphins’ rescue, collaborating with the Dolphin Project. Its commitment to rescuing the dolphins ensued in a 10-year-long public education campaign. It includes school programs, billboards, artwork and an initiative requesting people not to purchase tickets to dolphin shows.


Image Source: Dominic Sherony/WikimediaCommons