Tuesday, July 14, 2015
From the News: Brookfield Zoo investigating cause of malfunction that left 54 stingrays dead
I've often thought that caring for marine life in an aquarium is probably the closest thing we have to taking care of an extraterrestrial species in captivity. With conventional zoo animals, no matter how exotic or strange they may be, they at least breathe oxygen. With fish and aquatic invertebrates, you have to worry constantly about the quality of the water which they inhabit - its oxygen levels, its salinity, its nitrates - any of which can quickly lead to disaster if they get out of whack.
I'm very sorry to hear about the tragic loss at Brookfield Zoo. It's doubtlessly all the more frustrating for them because, as of now, they don't know exactly what caused the equipment failure. There have been bigger and more disastrous aquarium life-support failures, but all of the ones that I can think of have been the result of major natural disasters, the most obvious one being the Hurricane Katrina, which wiped out almost the entire collection of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
Again, condolences to the staff at Brookfield Zoo's Stingray Bay. I hope it gets figured out soon, so that all aquariums and zoos around the country can learn how to prevent a similar disaster at their facilities.