Dolphin Dewa succumbs to long standing illness.

Text party through Dolphinproject.com


We are saddened to report that Dewa, one of four dolphins confiscated from the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina, north Bali succumbed today to his longstanding illness.



Dewa, photo by Pepe Arcos

Dewa had a very troubled past. During many of the 12+ years he was held in a small, chlorinated pool at the hotel, Dewa was sick with chronic pneumonia that was not properly treated. He was frequently seen throwing himself against the side of the pool which left his body covered in multiple, deep cuts. Dewa also suffered from emotional trauma.

We assisted in the rescue of Dewa from the swimming pool to our Dolphin Sanctuary in Banyuwedang Bay in West Bali on October 8, 2019. Fortunately, his previous caretakers were willing to work with our team, having lost their jobs at the hotel upon its closure.

After months of intensive care and diagnostic tests by our on-staff veterinarian including consultations by foreign veterinarians, including ultrasounds, x-rays and bloodwork, we managed to improve Dewa’s condition. He gained weight, his skin lesions healed and he regained some of his interest in swimming, diving and playing with his friend, Johnny.


During the past few weeks, Dewa became lethargic. He lost his appetite, along with an interest in his surroundings. Our team transferred Dewa into isolation in a medical pen. Despite the team’s round-the-clock medical interventions, including tube feeding, hydration and medications, Dewa’s strength waned, and he took his last breath on March 11, 2020.

Veterinarian Deny Rahmadani and our veterinary supervisors all concluded that Dewa has suffered from a (non contagious) chronic condition which had harmed him for years; pneunomia left untreated which resulted in having one unfunctional lung. An autopsy was performed and we are awaiting the results from testing.

We knew his odds were poor but nonetheless, Dolphin Project was committed to providing Dewa the best possible chance of recovery. Dewa was a very special dolphin. While we are heartbroken at our loss, we are thankful he was able to spend his last months swimming in the healing waters of the Bali Dolphin Sanctuary, no longer abused at human hands.

Dolphin Project is fully committed to the health and welfare of Rocky, Rambo and Johnny, the other three dolphins who continue to thrive and rehabilitate in the healing waters of the Bali Dolphin Sanctuary. Never again will they suffer at human hands.

© 2020, Westerlaken foundationThe program of Westerlaken foundation is executed by Yayasan Bali Bersih.

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