The AP is reporting that “Sammy,” a 4.2m (13.8′) female whale shark, has been released back into the wild by the Atlantis hotel. The whale shark had been living in the Dubai hotel’s aquarium since being “rescued” from the wild in September of 2008.
Sammy the whale shark in the Atlantis aquarium in December, 2009 (video by YouTube user aap100)
Sammy’s presence at the aquarium had drawn criticism from environmentalists and activists, both locally and internationally, since her capture in 2008. The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a migratory species and is classified as “vulnerable” by the IUCN.
Hopefully, Sammy will be able to adjust appropriately to being returned to her natural habitat.