The Portland Aquarium, which opened in December, has had more than 200 marine animal deaths this spring. The animals' deaths were attributed to high temperatures, infection, starvation, and animal-on-animal attacks.
Among the animals who died were sea horses, crabs, bamboo sharks, garden eels, sea starts, and dozens of fish.
According to the aquarium's former veterinarian, the facility failed to quarantine new arrivals and delayed emergency treatment to save money.
According to aquarium owner Vince Covino, their animals receive the best health care available and the death rate is consistent with his experience at other aquariums.
Chris Spaulding, director of the aquarium science program at Oregon Coast Community College, states that comparative mortality rates do not exist, because aquariums do not share their mortality rates.
"The goal is to minimize losses as much as possible," Spaulding stated.
Marine biologist Caroline Emch-Wei stated that the loss of animals at the Portland Aquarium could have been avoided.
"There were so many deaths that were straight up preventable," she stated.
Animal advocacy organizations have long criticized aquariums for being inappropriate homes for marine mammals - and criticism may be extending for other marine animals.
According to the Oregonian, between Feb. 18 - March 16, the aquarium owners did not have regular veterinary visits for the animals. According to former veterinarian Mike Corcoran, the animals were subjected to “undue pain and suffering” because they were denied veterinary treatment.
Seattle Pets Examiner will continue to provide updates to this story as they occur.
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