A resort hotel on Dubai's main palm-shaped island says it has released back into the wild a whale shark whose captivity had been criticized by environmentalists.
The Atlantis hotel on the city-state's manmade Palm Jumeirah island said Thursday it released the 13-foot-long female shark back into the Persian Gulf. It says the shark has been tagged so it can be tracked for research purposes.
The hotel did not say when the shark was released. A spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.
Environmentalists and a local newspaper began calling for the shark's release shortly after the hotel announced it had rescued it from the shallow waters off Dubai's coast in 2008.
Whale sharks are considered a threatened species.