Friday, March 19, 2010

Atlantis Whale Shark Returned to the Wild

'Sammy', the 4.2 metre Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) which has been held in the Aquarium of the Atlantis Hotel since 2008 was released to the wild yesterday, Thursday 18th March 2010.

An internationally protected species 'Sammy' the Whale Shark had been the subject of a campaign to free the animal from the time it first arrived. There had been much speculation intitially as to whether 'Sammy' was a rescue or a deliberate commercial capture. Atlantis always claimed the former and maintained their intention to release her when she was healthy and sea conditions were good.
In collabaration with the Mote Marine Laboratory of Florida the Whale Shark has been tagged which allow her movements to be monitored as she progresses through the Oceans.

Atlantis has stated that the release has been planned for several months but the actual event was quite sudden giving rise to some skepticim as to the actual reasons. There have been suggestions that she may not having being doing especially well and questions asked over her condition. Employees of the Atlantis Hotel group stated that they had been told not to speak to the media about the whale shark.

It is hoped that the information gained from the tagging will be shared with the world scientific community.

A small number of Whale Sharks are held in captivity in Japan, Taiwan, US and China.

This interesting video is of a Captive Whale Shark in Dalian, China

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