• Don Lichterman

Dolphin Outlook, Tour Of Umah Lumba, Rambo Healing, Taiji & Ric O’Barry still not allowed in Japan!

Our youngest sanctuary team member Rio gives us a behind the scenes look at the Umah Lumba Center

A Tour Of Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release, And Retirement Center For Dolphins With Rio


While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage throughout the world, Dolphin Project continues to maintain a global presence, acting as a voice on behalf of all dolphins in need.


At the Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center in Bali, Indonesia, Dolphin Project’s on-the-ground Indonesian team is now focusing on behavioral observations. The three rescued dolphins, Rocky, Rambo and Johnny spend their days hunting, chasing fish, and playing and swimming together, while exploring every corner of the depth of the seapen. When they first arrived, they spent approximately 30% of their time underwater, and 70% at the surface, as their attention was still very much on people. Now, it’s the other way around, with 70% of their time spent underwater, doing what they like to do most.

Rambo continues to heal and thrive at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia


For years, Rocky, Rambo and Johnny were held captive in chlorinated swimming pools. Day after day, despite suffering from a myriad of serious health conditions, they were forced to interact with paying tourists.


Today, the dolphins are swimming in natural seawater, chasing and eating live fish and have regained their dignity. Never again will they be used (and abused) for profit.

Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center, West Bali, Indonesia


Many years of preparation and hard work went into establishing the Umah Lumba Center in West Bali, Indonesia – the first ever permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for formerly captive dolphins. While what we do is a labor of love, funds are urgently needed to ensure Dolphin Project’s team of medical professionals and staff can continue their 24/7 care of Rocky, Rambo and Johnny. The Center is also equipped to take in more dolphins in need, and due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this is something we anticipate.


With the help of the team’s underwater camera, we are able to monitor the dolphins from a distance, with minimal interaction. With such observations comes an understanding of each dolphin’s behavior, so their individual needs can be better met. Each of the three rescued dolphins continues to heal, thrive, rehabilitate and learn at the Umah Lumba Center. Our team works around the clock to ensure the Center is in tip-top shape, and the dolphins receive the best, possible care.

Dolphin Project’s Indonesian team works 24/7 to care for the three rescued dolphins, Bali, Indonesia


In Taiji, Japan, a notoriously cruel hunt of some of the most sentient creatures on the planet takes place annually from September to March, made famous by the 2009 Academy award-winning movie ‘The Cove’. During this period, dolphin hunters, “drive” the mammals to their capture or deaths via means of physical violence and acoustic torture.


For the 2020/21 dolphin hunting season, Dolphin Project continues to collaborate with Life Investigation Agency (LIA), a Japanese nonprofit organization dedicated to investigating, exposing and campaigning against the abuse of animals, along with other Japanese-based activists. The program is open to all Japanese citizens curious about the Taiji dolphin drives and the captivity issue. We are pleased to report this is the first time events at the Cove have been documented solely by an all-Japanese team made up of volunteers and nonprofit organizations.

Hunting boats head out to sea in search of dolphin pods, Taiji, Japan


At the time of this writing, a total of eight (8) successful drives have taken place. With the exception of the first drive, where a captive selection of three bottlenose dolphins and one Risso’s dolphin took place, the next seven hunts resulted in the slaughter of several Risso’s dolphins.


We encourage everyone to share our social media posts to help educate on the goings-on taking place in Taiji. While these slaughters and captive selections are occurring in a remote part of Japan, it’s a worldwide issue as many of the dolphins forcibly removed from their pods end up in aquariums and marine parks across the globe.

No dolphin has ever volunteered to be ripped from their wild world and placed in a concrete tank!


Please consider making a gift of regular support, to helpensure we can provide the quality care needed for the rescued dolphins in our stewardship, as well as providing critical funds to document and expose the brutal dolphin hunts taking place in Taiji.


For over 50 years, Dolphin Project has prided ourselves on the strength of our supporters. Today, more than ever, I’m asking that we come together on behalf of the dolphins.


Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project

Dedicated to the welfare of dolphins worldwide since Earth Day 1970

Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project

On February 5, 2016 I was wrongly deported from Japan. Dolphin Project’s legal team has been vigorously fighting this order ever since, and now, almost four years and ten months later, the decision of the Tokyo High Court to revoke the deportation order by the Ministry of Justice is now effective. I am free to return to Japan!


It is very rare for a Westerner to beat the Japanese government in a court of law. The reason we did is simple: these were trumped up charges. It was yet another attempt to silence me for speaking out against the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter. It’s a huge victory and could very well help others in the future.


I would like to thank each and every person who has fought on my behalf. Your tweets, emails, calls and donations made a difference! As soon as it is safe and permitted to do so, I look forward to visiting Japan once again.



As most of you are likely aware, 2020 marks 50 years that Dolphin Project has been defending dolphins worldwide. But we can’t do this lifesaving work without you. YOU are our backbone. Every dollar donated is a dollar for a dolphin in need. Every social media post shared and re-tweeted is a voice for the voiceless.


I’m asking that we come together during the season’s greatest time to give. December 1 is Giving Tuesday – a global day to do good. Please consider making a donation in support of our work and know that your act of generosity might very well inspire someone else to do good, too! Please watch your IN BOX the morning of December 1 for ways to give. We have something special for you, too, so be sure to check your email and social media feeds on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.



Despite the uncertainty of the world, we are continuing to run our international programs including documenting and live streaming for the duration of the dolphin hunting season in Taiji, Japan, and caring for our three rescued dolphins, Rocky, Rambo and Johnny in Bali, Indonesia while keeping the Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center running seamlessly. Together, as we have always done, let’s protect dolphins!

Bali Dolphin Sanctuary, Bali, Indonesia

The dolphins receive 24/7 round-the-clock care. We have a full-time staff veterinarian, security guards and caregivers. Ours is a true sanctuary, and our team is committed to making the dolphins’ lives as natural and independent as possible. In March 2020, Dolphin Project, in anticipation of the arrival of additional confiscated dolphins (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) tripled the size of our sanctuary. Now, more than ever, your help is urgently needed.


Dolphin Project has also been actively scouting locations for the first permanent dolphin sanctuary in Europe and are pleased to share we’ve found a location in Italy. Be sure to follow our social media and become a Supporter on our Facebook page for more details and behind-the-scenes videos!


By making a gift of regular support, you’ll ensure we can provide the quality care needed for the health and welfare of the rescued dolphins in our stewardship. It’s fast, simple and offers immediate benefits for the dolphins.


For over 50 years, Dolphin Project has prided ourselves on the strength of our supporters. Today, more than ever, I’m asking that we mobilize our forces and come together on behalf of the dolphins.


Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project... Dedicated to the welfare of dolphins worldwide since Earth Day 1970


Shop for a cause and be a voice for the voiceless! As a gift to you, any purchase made via our online shop will be discounted by 15%!

Each year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a large-scale hunt of dolphins takes place in the small village of Taiji, Japan, as made famous by the 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove.”
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The Sustainable Action Network (SAN), A Don Lichterman non-profit organization dedicated to building a global community raising awareness of corruption, injustice and the need for action across a full range of issues impacting people and animal/wildlife welfare around the world, such as conservation, climate change, campaign law, lobbying, government action and rescue work. SAN’s vision is to create safer world, free from political, environmental, and social oppression, where all the inhabitants of Earth can live in harmony within their own natural environments. Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

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