Sharks killed at LB Aquarium

This is one of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time.

November 9, 2004รณThe 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.”

16 thoughts on “Sharks killed at LB Aquarium”

  1. Horrible, horrible. Working at the L.A. Zoo and knowing how tough it is when we lose an animal (yet never to vandals, knock on wood) my heart goes out to the staff of the Aquarium for the grief they’re experiencing. I can’t even fathom the mentality that allows such actions. I only hope that LBC won’t just slap ’em and send ’em on their way. And if nothing else the Aquarium of the Pacific should drown those punks and their parents in litigation.

  2. That’s the most horrific thing I’ve heard in a long time. I echo all of your hopes that these teens aren’t just let off with a slap on the wrist.

  3. this is horrible. slap on the wrist?? eew, i hope not–when children abuse animals in this manner it is usually a sign of severe emotional/mental instability….

  4. Animal abuse by juveniles is an historical and world-wide problem. I agree with B that these boys have psycholical maladies that must be addressed when their punishment (hopefully severe) is meted out.


  5. That’s absolutely horrible. But we had eaten them, would it have made it better? Cattle and chickens are regularly kept in much worse conditions while alive, and killed in painful ways before they make their way to the meat counter. Both are horrible and wrong.

  6. Michael – Not sure what point you are trying to make here, but I’m vegan so you aren’t going to get me to argue that eating them would be better. We’re talking about some animals which had very nice lives that were beaten to death because some kids got bored.

  7. Yeah, I got that e-mail last night from the aquarium (we’re members, too), and I’m still aghast that this could happen. Not only do I hope the little bastards who did this are punished, but I hope they’re educated as to why what they did is so fucked up, too.

  8. If by “educated” Fogarty means dangled head-first under water in a tank of hungry sharks whilst being repeatedly impaled by pointy sticks for hours on end then dropped in with the jellyfish with their hands and feet bound with duct tape, then yes, I agree with him.

  9. The only point I’m making is that while this is sickening, I think people should be just as sickened by the same types of things that happen every day. But stories about food animals never make the news…

  10. Michael, dude. If there was a wake going on where a bunch of people were feeling devastated about somebody dying, it wouldn’t be the best time to come in and start ranting about how horrible gang violence is toward children. Point being, yes a lot of food animals live and die horribly, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to feel bad about these other creatures who died, and be left in peace to do that without being accosted by some inane and counter-productive attempts at guilt-mongering. You have done nothing to advance your cause by doing this and in fact have only managed to piss off a group of people who might, in other contexts, have been amenable to what you have to say. Learn some manners, boy.

  11. Right Robert, because you were gonna join PETA and give up all animal products until you read my post…

    I think the best time to bring it up is when people are boo-hooing about “poor animals” getting tortured in other settings, because most are totally blind to what happens before a steak hits their plate. Most are quick to dismiss everything in the animal rights movement as “whining” – it’s important to show them that this happens every day.

  12. Michael – Actually I’m with Robert on this. I’ve been Vegan for 12 years and Vegitarian for 18 entirely due to animal rights issues and I think bringing it up here is rather tasteless. If my introduction to the animal rights movement was a post like this I’d dismiss it as whining too. There’s nothing at all productive than can come from threadjacking this post like that. Nothing.

  13. I just wanted to know if anyone has any updates on what has happened to these pathetic little brats…. I have been trying to keep up with this story and due to being out of the country for a while i am unable to find anything recent on this. If anyone still reads this and knows anything I’d appreciate an update.

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