An aquarium on one of the most densely populated islands in the world has been ordered to release two nurse sharks which were being forced to swim with tourists.
These images show the nurse sharks surrounded by kids who are seen touching the animals.
According to local media, a tourist who visited the aquarium on the island of Santa Cruz del Islote located two hours by boat off the coast of the Bolivar Department in northern Colombia reported that two nurse sharks were forced to swim with tourists for long hours during the day.
Reports said that the National Natural Parks Office in Colombia has ordered the sharks be freed before 20th February as the long hours spent with tourists stress the animals.
The Port of Covenas Office has also requested local authorities in the city of Cartagena, near the island of Santa Cruz del Islote, to intervene to guarantee that tourist attractions in the region meet certain standards.
Captain Alex Melo of the Port of Covemas Office told local media: “It is important that local authorities intervene in order to manage the seashore as the community has to control and regulate itself to offer tourists attractions that meet a certain standard.”
According to National Geographic, nurse sharks live in the warm, shallow water of the western Atlantic and Pacific oceans where the closeness of their habit to human activities is putting pressure on the species.
The population of Santa Cruz del Islote is 1,200 people living on land the size of two football pitches making it four times as dense as Manhattan.
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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