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Originally Posted: 14 November 2008
Urge Dubai Hotel to Free Whale Shark
The Atlantis Hotel, the newest and largest resort in the nation of Dubai, is holding a whale shark captive in its aquarium. The hotel, on the exclusive Palm Jumeirah island, originally said it had "rescued" the animal, who is a member of an endangered species.
The hotel is now refusing to say if or when the whale shark will be released.
Whale shark in the wild
Environmentalists and Dubai residents are demanding that the shark should be released into his natural habitat. You can join that chorus by sending the e-mail below.
The shark, who could grow up to 12m (39ft), was caught off the coast of Dubai six weeks ago.
The management talk of "rescuing" an animal, who was in distress, but former employees have told the local press that capturing a whale shark was always part of the hotel's plan to provide an added tourist attraction.
There is a growing swell of public opinion that the animal should be released.
Whale sharks are protected under the CITES convention and the plight of this member of an endangered species has captured the imagination of the public.
One popular newspaper has launched a freedom campaign. Children are talking about the situation in school assemblies and local environmentalists are strongly urging the shark's release.
The calf photo on these pages is from Farm Sanctuary with our thanks.
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