At first glance, Bali Safari Marine Park Gianyar has the air of an archetype, that of a juicy attraction for tourists. Yet the owners defend to exploit animals because besides his leisure activity, the zoo is also responsible for education and conservation programs.
Opened in 2007 in Gianyar, in the west of the island, one can also see one of the leopards, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, antelopes and other lions, endangered species. Endemic as with the Bali mynah, the Bali starling (see The Gazette Bali # 38 – July 2008 and No. 75 – August 2011), this white bird with blue fur around the eyes that boasts a program full preservation within the park, or imported with the white tigers or Sumatran elephants. But here we do not ask anything to the animals than they would in nature, even though being “players” show presented every two days the public is not really on the agenda of these in the jungle or savannah. Indeed, there is no question here of seeing a monkey on a bicycle or elephant balancing on a ball. For the Bali Safari Marine Park, it is also true protection activity. For five years, four calves were born in the park, and dozens of Bali mynah were released into the wild after a breeding program. The only “exploitation” of the animals concerned made their droppings. Since last year opened the Safari Poo Paper Factory, a small factory that transforms the droppings of animals sheets of paper, then used to manufacture certain products of souvenir shops. More than a theme park, Bali Safari Marine Park is thus gives a true educational mission: to discover the various animals, tell them about the threats to them and encourage them to protect them.
In the public yet, it is easy to guess that none of the people attending the educational shows is responsible for deforestation in Sumatra or poaching in India. Probably none of them would also never have the power to stop environmental disasters caused in a world over which they have little control. But the staff and park specialists no longer rely on our generation to change things, they want to bet on the next one, the one we most often ride in strollers during the visit. Children, here the target of Bali Safari Marine Park and their education program. Touch the animals, look them in the eyes, spend time with them and explain what threats facing them today is what could stop the destruction of our ecosystems. So every morning, on one of the scenes of the park, the conflict that pits men against elephants in Sumatra is reconstituted. Simply, are explained the problems caused by deforestation of the island for the benefit of palm plantations, whose oil is marketed throughout the world, the disappearance of the natural habitat of elephants, their villages in search of food , sometimes their violence against men whom they meet with fire. In addition to the show, the park also provides on-site education programs for school children and students whose content is established with each of the schools as they wish. And for those who do not have sufficient means to spend a day at the park, it is the staff of the Bali Safari Marine Park which visits schools, free.
The importance of these conservative and educational missions within the Bali Safari Marine Park, is also explained in the past and especially of its owner. Tony Sumampaw is the descendant of a great circus family. To accommodate the animals at retirement and protect, a first Taman Safari Park was established near Jakarta. Then a second in Prigen, always on Java. It is also the wildlife specialist who tried to save animals from the terrible Surabaya Zoo (see The Bali Gazette No 83 – April 2012). In 2007, it was the turn of the Bali Safari Marine Park to see the day. If it is the birds that are found for obvious reasons in the aviaries, most animals do not live in cages but in an open space and natural that one can discover through a “safari”. Within the park, the care they do not depend on the number of visits and the money collected each day. According to management, the owner of the assets sufficient to cover the maintenance of the animals, with or without an audience. In real enthusiast, Tony is also the founder of the Bali Mynah Conservation Foundation, within the Bali National Park and where the birds are released born in Gianyar.
But a reputation and a signature on a check are not enough to bring animals in Bali. Despite the licenses and the labels they have nothing deprives long discussions with negotiators States or international organi sati ons such as WWF. The latest about the future Panda be hosted shortly Bali Safari Marine Park. In 2014, the freshwater aquarium should also be completed by the future Marine Park and count dolphins. A facility that should please some tourists and some discouraged because once again, and despite all their good intentions, it is difficult today to accept the idea that animals should live in captivity. It remains to hope that zoos today, can avoid the construction of tomorrow and the captivity of some animals might someday restore their full freedom.