A team of conservationists at Dubai’s luxury Atlantis Hotel are releasing baby sharks bred in the aquarium into the open sea.
As part of an effort to contribute to the conservation of native marine species in the Persian Gulf, the specialists breed and set free honeycomb stingray and brown Arabian carpet sharks.
Thursday was the first time that this group of baby sharks had ever encountered the wild.
The tiny carpet sharks were jolted out of their warm pools at the flashy aquarium to travel farther than they ever have in their two years of existence.
The conservationists gingerly caught the sharks with nets and moved them into oxidised tanks in a Ford pick-up truck.
Soon, the baby sharks were on the move.
The specialists popped them into big plastic bags and carried their squirming bodies over the white sandy beach of the Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary, a short drive from the hotel.
For the past few years, the hotel’s aquarium has sought to contribute to the conservation of native marine species by breeding honeycomb stingray and brown Arabian carpet sharks before releasing them into the wild, rich with coral reefs and mangroves.
The team stood shin-deep in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, surrounded by the small and slowly circling sharks.
The creatures are harmless to humans, preferring a diet of snake eels, shrimps, crabs and squid.
For a few minutes, many of the sharks appeared spooked, staying close to the shore, before venturing into their vast new home.