Dubai hotel frees Sammy the whale shark
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 22:15
Dubai: A rare whale shark that was a hotel attraction in Dubai has been returned to the wild, the resort said on Thursday, following an international campaign against the captivity.

Sammy, a freckled whale shark that is an internationally protected species, had been kept inside a lobby aquarium at Dubai's upscale Atlantis resort since September 2008.

The 14-foot female, was returned to the Gulf waters where it had been "rescued" said the hotel, where guests pay up to 7,500 dollars a night for a top suite.

The shark was a top crowd puller, but also attracted unwelcome publicity for the hotel, after animal rights groups began a worldwide campaign to free Sammy.

A "Free Sammy" Facebook campaign attracted more than 26,000 members.

The hotel announcement came as a 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) met in nearby Qatar.

Atlantis said that the shark had been tagged for monitoring and research.


First Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 22:15

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