We’ve already seen Richard Branson reserve an island to save lemurs that are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. Now, it’s The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm doing their bit at Dubai. Home to over 65,000 marine animals, there are over 20 remarkable marine life exhibits, including a touch tank and an interactive Aquatheatre show. The hotel now has the latest addition, a herd of over one hundred thorny seahorses (Hippocampus Hystrix), estimated to be at the risk of extinction. They are teeny, tiny little horses, and they are about the size of a small fingernail. These rare newborns, known as ‘fry,’ will assist in the re-population of this species when released into the Arabian Gulf’s warm waters, once mature enough to hunt zooplankton.
Steve Kaiser, Vice President of Marine Sciences and Engineering, Atlantis, The Palm, said: “The birth of any threatened species helps us further our goal of educating and enlightening people about marine life and ecosystems. By releasing a number of these new seahorses into the Arabian Gulf, we hope to help bring their numbers back from the brink.”
All seahorses are threatened. They are exploited due to their medicinal properties and decoration. The hotel urges guests to do their part to preserve this beautiful species by not purchasing any products made from them, such as medicinal or decorative keepsakes. They are currently being raised at the aquarium’s nursery, where they will stay for two months and be fed on Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and Cyclops. Guests can get a rare viewing of them on the Behind the Scenes tour.
[Atlantisthepalm and Hoteliermiddleeast]