Portland Aquarium: 200 Marine Animals Die

The Portland Aquarium is under investigation in the deaths of 200 marine animals. The Oregon Humane Society cites aquarium logs, which indicate that the deaths were due to neglect.

The logs indicate that the marine animals died due to malnutrition, illness, and environmental issues. The Portland Aquarium has only been open for nine months.

As reported by Oregon Live, the deaths include sea horses, eels, sea stars, crabs, sharks, and various kinds of fish. Aquarium owners admit that the marine animals have been without veterinary care for at least three months.

Veterinarian Mike Corcoran’s severed his ties with the aquarium in February. Corcoran explains that the “animals were subject to undue pain and suffering to save money.”

Aquarium owners and employees repeatedly ignored his suggestions for care. He states that the deaths were “excessive,” and preventable.

Vince and Ammon Covino, who own the aquarium, deny Corcoran’s accusations:

“We spare no expense in ensuring our animals have the best health care possible.”

Aquarium mortality rates are rarely shared with the public. However, the Covinos contend that their rates are not unusual.

Marine biologist Caroline Emch-Wei is a former employee of the Portland Aquarium. She agrees that deaths are expected. However, she points out that many of the 200 marine animal deaths “were straight up preventable.”

Emch-Wei agrees with Corcoran’s assessment. She states that the aquarium owners “were cutting corners to save money.”

The animal deaths are not the first controversy to hit the aquarium owners. Ammon Covino was arrested in February. He was charged with purchasing and transporting eagle rays and lemon sharks without required permits.

Ammon faces further charges for attempting to illegally purchase several sharks last year.

As reported by KOIN, Vince Covino has stated that the death logs were falsified. He blames a disgruntled former employee.

Vince contends that the accusations are “defamatory to [the] highly qualified team of marine biologists, who do an excellent job of caring for [the] animals.”

The Oregon Humane Society is currently in the process of investigating the Portland Aquarium for the 200 marine animal deaths.

[Image via Flickr]

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