Two dolphins have been rescued from a chlorinated hotel swimming pool that they lived in for years.
The animals, named Rocky and Rambo, were kept at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, north Bali, Indonesia. They were forced to interact with paying tourists and perform tricks, according to Dolphin Project, which has been working on a campaign to free them for 10 years.
The organization, in conjunction with the Central Jakarta Forestry Department and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), successfully confiscated the two cetaceans and many other animals from the hotel.
According to Dolphin Project, a huge number of animals were kept in a ‘mini zoo’ inside the hotel. These included three saltwater crocodiles, two leaf monkeys, several birds, snakes and porcupines, along with five bottlenose dolphins.
One of the dolphins died just days before rescue. Two were rescued, and two will be confiscated from the premises shortly.
According to Dolphin Project, the majority of the wildlife has now been moved, and on their way to rehabilitation and possible release.
“For over a decade, five bottlenose dolphins were exploited for profit at the Melka Excelsior Hotel. The mammals were forced to perform under deplorable conditions, doing tricks, manhandled by tourists in swim-with-dolphins sessions and used in so-called dolphin therapy” programs,” said a statement by Dolphin Project.
“Other animals formed a mini zoo inside the hotel, held in darkness in concrete and steel cages. After receiving several complaints about the Melka Excelsior Hotel, the Central Jakarta Forestry Department asked our team to investigate.
“Upon reviewing our report, Ms. Indra Exploitasia, Director of Biodiversity Conservation and Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry called for the immediate confiscation of all the animals.”