This is one of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time.
November 9, 2004óThe Aquarium of the Pacific is saddened to report that sometime Sunday night or Monday morning someone broke into the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon exhibit and injured or killed several animals. We lost one of our nurse sharks and one cownose ray, and a bamboo shark that was injured passed away Monday night. Other animals were moved or injured but will survive.
Monday night at approximately 9:00 p.m. trespassers were found on the Aquarium grounds. The Aquarium contacted the Long Beach Police department, which made four arrests.
The Aquarium is extremely saddened by this terrible act of animal cruelty. These animals lived in our interactive touchpools and personally touched the lives of millions of people who have visited the Aquarium. They were gentle animals that served as ambassadors inspiring wonder and respect for the ocean and its inhabitants. We are at a loss as to why anyone would commit such a cruel act on these animals.
The LA Times has more details:
The suspects, three 13-year-old boys and a 14-year-old boy, allegedly pulled the fish out of their tanks late Sunday or early Monday, stabbing and pounding them with plastic pipes. They were left for dead at various places around the aquarium area.
The teens were arrested late Monday when they broke into the aquarium for a second time and headed back to the shark lagoon. One of the dead sharks, a 3-foot chocolate brown Nurse Shark named Michelle, had been at the aquarium since it opened six years ago and was popular attraction.
I don’t even know what to say. What is worse is if Long Beach’s animal cruelty laws are anything like most of the country’s, these kids will get a slap on the wrist and a stern talking to before they are handed back over to their parents. This is just disgusting. Mack Reed has a better idea:
“I’m all for a tough-love trip to SeaWorld, where we whet Shamu’s appetite with a little squid, smear chum in their hair and toss ’em in.”