Four dolphins arrive at Hurghada airport despite governor's ban

Ekram Ibrahim , Friday 21 Jan 2011

Conservation activists campaign against imports of marine life into Egypt

Four purportedly wild Dolphins have arrived at Hurghada airport today, in spite of Red Sea Governor Magdy Qoubeissy’s decision to ban the entrance of wild animals.

"I am sure that at least three out of the four (dolphins) were caught in the wild in 1998," a member of the Hurgada Environment Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) told Ahram Online, who asked that his name be kept anonymous.

Transporting these species to Egypt is harmful to its original habitat, he said, explaining that "these species control the ecosystem and could destroy the whole ecosystem."

The ecosystem’s cycle is delicate and altering any of its steps, by for example getting rid of sharks or adding species, would disrupt and potentially end it.  

The governor's decision to ban the entrance of the wild species came after an HEPCA campaign last October against an Egyptian who had purchased four dolphins which he kept in his swimming pool.

HEPCA has also organized a dolphin awareness event which brought together hundreds of concerned citizens in an attempt to expose and halt a planned dolphinarium. After their campaign, the four dolphins were transferred and the Association has since been monitoring the situation.

The governor's office could not be reached for a comment.

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