Friday, October 17, 2008

Sammy the Shark-Dubai

By now the world knows the plight of "Sammy the Whale Shark" in Dubai. As the story unfolds
this "rescued animal's" back-story has changed from one of wild animal care to wanton wild animal acquisition.

Which opens the door to an interesting story we can now tell you.

Several months ago we got a phone call from Dubai and an unnamed source who was looking to acquire "several great white sharks" for display. The source was wondering if our company Shark Divers was in the business of sourcing white sharks for public mega aquariums.

Naturally we were interested in the mechanics of the deal. How soon might they want these animals? One year. How many animals? Up to 5. How much per animal acquisition? The numbers varied but all told we were looking at $20-30 million for the entire project.

Which opens up the questions, the ethics, and the debate about wild animal acquisitions and large aquarium's desire to have and display charismatic almost any cost. While we're not implying the call came form this particular aquarium, the trend in Dubai at least at this time is animals at any cost.

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