Gianyar (ANTARA) - Celebrations marking the 77th Anniversary of Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) in Bali ensured that several protected animals, such as Sumatran elephants and pangolins, were not left out.

The celebration event was held at the Bali Safari & Marine Park wildlife sanctuary and animal conservation center in Gianyar, Bali on Wednesday.

The presence of these animals in the Independence Day anniversary ceremonial event was an effort made by the Bali Safari & Marine Park to voice the message of animal conservation and protection.

Head of Marketing of the Bali Safari & Marine Park Inneke Ficianirum stated that the conservation institution always conducted Independence Day celebration activities featuring animals every year.

"We always put the animal (conservation campaign) first in commemorating the independence of the Republic of Indonesia," she stated.

The presence of some protected animals at the ceremony -- four Sumatran elephants, a cockatoo, a parrot, a python, and a pangolin -- aimed to not only educate the public on the importance of conserving these species but also to attract more tourists to visit the wildlife reserve.

The focus on drawing more tourists aims to address a sharp drop in the number of visits during the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions, Ficianirum remarked.

However, she noted that the number of tourists visiting the Bali Safari & Marine Park had currently starts to rise, reaching one thousand people per day since June.

During the ceremony held at the park, four elephants, escorted by their handlers, wore Indonesian traditional yellow, gold, and red fabrics. One of the elephants wore a poleng cloth, which is a typical Balinese cloth, with a black and white checkered pattern.

According to Balinese belief, poleng cloth is a form of appreciation of "Rwa Bhineda," which is the concept of balance that becomes a guide in life.

Though not part of the flag-raising procession, the elephants and other animals were present during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the animals, some of which were protected, returned to their cages, guided by handlers from the Bali Safari Park.

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Translator: Genta Tenri, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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