Earlier this month, a video showing dangdut singer Lucinta Luna swimming with a dolphin at the Dolphin Lodge.
The video went viral, and Indonesians condemned the apparent animal exploitation and demanded authorities step up their efforts in protecting animals.
Indonesian officials have finally closed down the dolphin attraction facility accused of animal exploitation in Sanur, Bali after it was revealed that the space was still open despite official orders to shut operations last year.
Dolphin Lodge, a swim-with-dolphins attraction operated by PT Piayu Samudra Loka, has been banned by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry since April 2020.
In a statement, the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) in Bali stressed that “bottlenose dolphin attraction activities by PT Piayu Samudra in Mertasari Beach have been closed and marked with a banner declaring closure of dolphin show activities.”
“There were inputs from the public that we received through social media after a bottlenose dolphin attraction that did not pay attention to animal welfare went viral,” Sumarsono, an official from BKSDA Bali, added.
Sumarsono also said that there were seven bottlenose dolphins at the facility and they are of the Indo-Pacific species, also known as tursiops aduncus. The sea mammals have since been evacuated to a conservation center.
The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are a protected species in Indonesia, and they are listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).