On Aug. 19 Oregon Live reports that the Portland Aquarium has sited over 200 deaths of marine life in just three months this spring. The aquarium that is housed in a remodeled Outback Steakhouse building in Milwaukee, Ore. operates with no license and skates by due to Oregon's lax restrictions on cold-blooded animals. After reports that so many marine life animals were dying, The Oregon Humane Society has started an investigation into the deaths caused from starvation, animal on animal attacks, infection, and high- temperatures unsuitable for many of the creatures. Among the marine life that has died are sea horses, bamboo sharks, eels, crabs, fish, and sea stars.
Mike Cochoran, the marine veterinarian that originally signed on to work with the aquarium when it opened doors in December of 2012 says that many of these deaths could have been prevented if animals had been properly quarantined when coming to the aquarium and if emergency procedures and healthcare wasn't prolonged until it was too late just to cut costs.
The owners, Vince and Ammon Covino, have no degrees in marine biology or aquarium sciences of any kind. The brothers own one other aquarium in Boise that opened in 2011. There is no word if that aquarium is under investigation as well. In September, Ammon covino was arrested for attempting to one count of conspiracy and four counts of unlawful sale or purchase of marine animals. He is accused in Florida of buying four eagle rays and two lemon sharks without proper permits and transporting them to their Idaho Aquarium in Boise. He also attempted to obtain lemon sharks for the Portland Aquarium but was unsuccessful.
One Portland patron says that when he visited the aquarium this spring when it opened, he felt sad for the animals as none of them seemed to have enough space and it was obvious that some of the animals in the pools that allow handling shouldn't be touched by any means.