In Indonesia, dolphins have been released on the high seas after years of captivity in hotel pools


Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-17 13:03:01

According to the Associated Press, three bottlenose dolphins were released on Saturday in Indonesia . Before this big moment, the aquatic mammals had spent years in captivity entertaining tourists.

Credit: AP

The dolphins, affectionately named Johnny, Rocky and Rambo, were rescued in 2019 from a small pool at a hotel, which bought the animals after they had spent years in a traveling circus. The Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Liberation and Retreat Center in Bali then treated them before releasing them. “It was an incredibly moving experience to see them leave” said Lincoln O'Barry, who founded Umah Lumba, which means 'dolphin' in Indonesian, with the support of the national government.

The Dolphin Project, a nonprofit that helped save the trio, was started by Lincoln O'Barry's father, Ric O'Barry, in 1970. After walking through the underwater gates of freedom, the three dolphins spent about an hour swimming around. But they finally set sail for unknown destinations, under the gaze of the employees of the Umah Lumba center who applauded. “They turned around and came back to us one last time, almost to say thank you and goodbye. Where are they headed next? We do not know it. But we wish them a good and long life” said Lincoln O'Barry, who filmed their return to the wild with drones.

Credit: AP

Protect the dolphins

Wahyu Lestari, rehabilitation coordinator for the center, said she was somewhat saddened to see them go, but they “Had to be in nature because they were born in nature. » And for good reason, when they are in captivity, the dolphins are often held in chlorinated water and unintentionally injured by interactions with tourists. The Indonesian government has spent the past decade working on a public education campaign to change that, with billboards and school programs strongly urging citizens not to attend dolphin shows.

Other sanctuaries like the Umah Lumba span should soon open in Europe and the United States, always with the same objective: to care for the animals and prepare them to regain their freedom.

Source : AP News