Of the numerous, terrible stories coming out of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, unfortunately, many of them have to do with animals. While there were several animal organizations helping rescue pets, saving the homes and lives of aquatic animals proved even more difficult.
The world-renowned New York Aquarium was engulfed with ocean waves when the storm surge hit on Monday night and was left completely underwater.
As a result, it will be closed indefinitely.
Since it is just off the boardwalk of Brooklyn’s Coney Island, the New York Aquarium suffered extreme damage from Hurricane Sandy. To get an idea of just how committed their staffers are, 18 of them they stayed with the animals that night while the ocean surged 14 feet high as water in poured into the aquarium.
I have heard reports that all the mammals survived but exact information on the specifics has been difficult to obtain. Currently, the staff is working around the clock to stabilize the systems of all the animals. The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the New York Aquarium and the city’s four zoos, say if they cannot maintain them very soon, they will be forced to ship out the animals to another facility.
Here is a statement from the WCS:
“Staff have established temporary life support for the aquatic systems, are pumping flood waters out of basements and mechanical areas, and are working to restore filtration and other life support essentials for the exhibit and holding tanks. We have a short window of time to get these systems re-established. If this cannot be accomplished in this critical period, we will temporarily relocate the collection to other aquariums in the region.”
You can imagine what an undertaking something of this magnitude is when they house sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, penguins, walruses, and more. A baby walrus had actually recently arrived at the conservation center and was receiving critical care before the hurricane hit. Workers stayed with the walrus through the night and over the next few days to save his life.
All four New York City zoos are reported to be safe and stable.
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