Written by Ingrid Raath reporting from the United Arab Emirates
In May, I saw an alligator gar in a pet shop in Abu Dhabi. I felt sorry for the poor fella. He was almost 90 cetimeters long in a tank one meter long. The alligator gar is not an actual alligator but an ancient species of fish that has survived for 100 million years in the rivers, streams and bayous of the southeastern United States. It grows to be hundreds of pounds and it’s name comes from its alligator-like snout and its double row of sharp teeth.
I teach in the Western Region, three hours from Ahu Dhabi, and the few times I visited the pet shop, he was just laying still. I saw him move once, only to turn around and lay still again. At last I managed to talk to the pet shop owner (who was never there when I turned up) and he said for all he cared I could have the fish, as he had no bigger tank.
I found the assistant curator of Dubai indoor aquarium and we managed to transfer ‘Ali’ to the Dubai aquarium. It was wonderful to see him swim for the first time since adulthood at least.
He wasn’t just a ‘fish with no feelings.’ Of course fish have emotions and feelings too, albeit more primitive than more advanced animals. Please enjoy this special video of Ali’s first swim in his new home.
His New Home: 2.6 Million Gallons of Water! – Photos
Well, your jaw will drop when you see where Ali lives now. He is in the world’s second largest aquarium tank. Have a look!
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