Francois Nel/Gulf News: Sammy in his tank at Atlantis. Whale sharks are an endangered species. They are filter-feeders that swim with their mouths wide open, eating plankton.
"The WSPA urges the continued protest by all of the groups and individuals who have made their feelings known about this issue...until they [Atlantis] keep their promise to release Sammy," added Wheeler.
WSPA the world's largest federation of animal welfare groups made up of 1,000 organisations representing 157 countries. WSPA has consultative status with the United Nations and the Council of Europe and works in conjunction with the World Health Organisation.
Over 140 days and counting for Sammy, the whale shark, who remains captive in a giant aquarium at the Atlantis hotel on the Palm Jumeirah. There seems to be no reprieve for the juvenile whale shark who spends its hours in silent confinement.
When it was first captured, there was news of it being tagged and eventually released.
On December 18, the newspaper approached the public relations company for Atlantis, d-pr, again asking when Sammy was going to be free. The silence was broken, but all the public relations company for the hotel said, after repeated emails, was, "There are no updates".
As the holiday season bore down upon us, Gulf News decided to give them a further extension to release a statement about the whale shark. A final reminder was sent on January 5, 2009. Silence. This clearly shows that the management of Atlantis has no respect for the Press and no sense of accountability towards the residents of the country or the community it is based in.
From Freedom for Sammy the whale shark in Dubai remains elusive, Anupa Kurian, Gulf News 15 Jan 09, full article also on the wildsingapore news blog.