18 March 2010

Whale shark in Dubai Atlantis hotel is freed

The five-star hotel has faced a wave of criticism since it plucked the creature from the sea on August 28, 2008, with thousands joining facebook groups to free it and numerous environmental groups also lobbying for its freedom along with actress Pamela Anderson.
Sammy in his tank at Atlantis, Francois Nel/Gulf News

After being confined to the tank in the hotel’s aquarium for almost 17 months a statement released by the Atlantis today said the female whale shark has been returned to the Arabian Gulf.

Full media reports on wildsingapore news.

Earlier in Feb 10, there was a report that a shark-filled aquarium in a Dubai mall had cracked open.

Keeping large marine animals in captivity for display and performance is increasingly considered poorly, often resulting in a bad public image.

The recent tragic death of a trainer at Sea World has raised the profile of this issue, with many thoughtful articles on it.
In Singapore, the issue sparked media exchanges about safe interaction with captive animals. While Underwater World Singapore, Sentosa said visitors can safely swim with the dolphins or dive with the sharks, Acres believes "no matter how well trained the staff are at facilities housing wild animals, and no matter how familiar the animals are with performing and how accustomed they are to being around humans, they still remain wild animals with natural instincts, and the truth is they can attack at any time."

Today, SPCA added that "One can only hope, on hearing of this latest incident, that a universal review would be carried out to stamp out the insidious cruelty of capturing or breeding wild animals for human entertainment and amusement, for which ultimately some humans will pay the price, as in this case."In addition, there was a report highlighting that swimming with dolphins in the wild is also detrimental to dolphins.

It is time we realise such animals belong unmolested in the wild.

Update (24 Mar): There are rumours that the whale shark was ill before she was released or is even dead. Show us the proof of Dubai Atlantis whale shark release 7 Days 23 Mar 10;

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