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Monday, February 9, 2009

Atlantis hotel under fire over shark

How much does this sound like Resorts World at Sentosa!
Atlantis hotel under fire over shark
February 9, 2009 - 10:39AM, Brisbane Times

Environmentalists have renewed their call for a marine-themed luxury Dubai resort to release a whale shark on display inside the hotel's giant fish tank.

"The risk to the animal being held is greater than if the animal is released," Lisa Perry of the Emirates Wildlife Society/World Wild Fund told AP on Sunday. Releasing the 4 metre-long female whale shark back into the wild "is the right thing to do for Atlantis and for the animal", she said.

"Holding a whale shark in a constraining artificial environment where it is unable to feed ... and has a limited area to move can have fatal consequences," the activists wrote in a letter to the hotel's management. The letter was sent to the local media earlier this week.

"Taking a potential breeder ... from the wild, takes not only one whale shark from an already weakened whale shark population, but also the possible offspring she could produce," the letter said.

This is not the first environmental controversy that has plagued the Atlantis resort in Dubai. In 2007, activists protested the sale of dolphins from the Solomon Islands to Dubai. The mammals were transported 30 hours by plane from the South Pacific to a man-made lagoon, where hotel guests can swim with them.

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