Every April 21st the Republic of Indonesia celebrates the birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini. Born in Jepara, Central Java in 1879, Kartini is recognized for her selfless dedication in the battle for female emancipation during the Country’s colonial era. As an acknowledgement of what has been achieved by the contemporary successors of R.A. Kartini and the many challenges that lay ahead, Bali Safari & Marine Park shares the profiles and contributions of just some of the many dedicated professional women who, on a daily basis, make a lasting contribution to the Park and to their Nation.
Becoming an animal keeper is perhaps the dream of many animal lovers. But, in truth, this was not the dream Ni Wayan Julita Antari cherished when she first joined the Bali Safari & Marine Park six years ago. Looking back, Julita freely admits how her current career as an animal keeper has fundamentally changed her daily life. Working as a senior keeper, a whole range of unique animal encounters and the challenging daily routines involved in the care of captive animals has turned this young Balinese woman into a serious animal lover and a professional animal keeper at one of the world’s leading nature parks. Julita stressed the importance of support from families and friends in performing a job filled with a whole range of inherent risks. Raised in a traditional Balinese family perhaps influenced her to believe that women by nature are weak creatures. Fortunately, during her professional career at the park, Julita has received the positive moral support that has made her the strong, professional animal keeper she has become.
Winning a lead role in a long term, major stage production at the Bali Theatre at Bali Safari would represent a special point of pride for any professional performer.It could then be argued that Ni Nyoman Sumaryasih is an irreplaceable part of the park’s Bali Agung Show, having performed the same role since the show opened six years ago. And, in theatrical terms, the grace and elegance that Sumar brings to her role as the lovelorn Chinese princess Kang Ching Wie demonstrates a perfect marriage between talent and hard work. The celebrity enjoyed by Denpasar-born Sumaryasih has fortunately not created a diva with a super-sized ego. Described by fellow cast members as generous, humorous and friendly, this accomplished stage artist knows the importance of humility and introspection in creating a quality stage persona. Sumar’s motto is: “Give it all today, as though there is no tomorrow. And then do it all over again the next day.”
Doctor Pupung – the more popular name used by the colleagues and friends of Dr. Purwaningtyas Kusumaningsih – has worked long and hard to earn her current job of being in charge of animal health at Bali Safari & Marine Park. Beginning her career as an assistant curator, she later joined the education team in charge of animal enrichment where she acquired valuable expertise in the area of animal behaviour. Safeguarding the physical and mental wellbeing of wildlife demands is the culmination of years of careful observations, intuition and hands-on experience Dr. Pupung brought to her work. The many professional difficulties that this Veterinarian has had to overcome in her working career now forms fond memories that fuel Dr. Pupung’s spirit for the challenges that lie ahead. In her view, determination and caution are two qualities a veterinarian must bring to the treatment and care of wild animals.