After the death of a dolphin, that had been kept as an attraction at a hotel in the North Bali town of Lovina on Saturday prompted an investigation by Bali’s conservation agency, two other dolphins as well as a number of other animals that were kept there were finally rescued yesterday following years of allegations of animal abuse.
The Dolphin Project, a US-based non-profit organization working to protect dolphins worldwide, posted on their website that they evacuated two dolphins and other animals yesterday, all of whom were “suffering in deplorable conditions.”
Officials from the Indonesian government’s Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) in Bali, as well as members of the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), took part in the animal rescue mission.
The Dolphin Project said that the rescue had been planned before the death of one of the dolphins on Saturday. The majority of the animals kept at the Melka Hotel, including three saltwater crocodiles, two leaf monkeys, as well as snakes and porcupines, have now been removed from the hotel’s facilities.
“Evacuation of the animals at Hotel Melka in North Bali has started yesterday, [after] the team conducted a health check on all the animals … All animals were kept inside the horrible, concrete, damp [and] outdated facilities,” JAAN wrote in an Instagram post.
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Evacuation of the animals at Hotel Melka in North Bali has started yesterday when the team conducted a health check on all the animals including 3 salt water crocodiles, a python, many birds and primates as well as porcupines. All animals were kept inside the horrible concrete damp outdated facilities. We assisted forestry department / BKSDA Bali to relocate all animals including the dolphins and we continue to monitor their health and welfare and plan for the best for the animals, meaning potential rehab and release back to the wild. Huge thanks to @kementerianlhk for taking this important step to relocate the animals to a better life and hopefully future rehabilitation and release! Huge thanks to @dolphin_project for all the support to fulfill this mission! We are keen to collaborate with out partners in this mission to enable rehab and release of the animals who have a chance to be freed again @wildlifeaidnetwork #melka #lovina #animalrescue #dolphinproject #crocodile #satwaliar #combatwildlifetrade #jakartaanimalaidnetwork see also blog in bio 🐬🐬
The animal activist group said that there were still two more dolphins being kept at the hotel but they said they would also be evacuated soon.
“Based on their health check yesterday, only two [of the dolphins] were fit for transport. The rescue of the other two is currently postponed because they weren’t very healthy,” said Sumarsono of BKSDA Bali, as quoted by Detik.
JAAN Marine Mammal Coordinator Amang Raga told Detik that the remaining dolphins, who were named Rocky and John, were blind.
The two that have already been moved were brought to spare sea pens at Dolphin Lodge Bali in southern Denpasar, whereas the other animals have been brought to the Bali Zoo and the Bali Safari and Marine Park, where they will stay for the time being.
“We [will] continue to monitor their health and welfare, and plan for the best for the animals: meaning potential rehab and release back to the wild,” JAAN said.
According to BKSDA, the Melka Hotel possesses a conservation permit, which allowed it to house protected animals such as dolphins.
The Melka Hotel describes itself as a “Dolphin Hotel” and offers its guests a chance to watch their daily dolphin show or to swim with dolphins in the hotel’s saltwater pools (the latter for an additional charge, according to their website).
Now, the hotel stands to lose their permit, and might even face criminal charges should the agency determine that there are signs of negligence, I Ketut Catur Marbawa of Bali’s BKSDA told Detik on Monday.