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BAMZ roof work may mean releasing some animals into the wild

Royal Gazette

By Jonathan Bell
Published Mar. 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

Some of the Aquarium’s residents will be released into the wild later this year to make way for refurbishments.

Government plans to replace the roof of the facility over the autumn or winter of this year, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo principal curator Ian Walker said.

Added Dr Walker: “The roof, which is currently suffering from water damage, is original to the 1926 structure of the aquarium and has been difficult to maintain given its proximity to the tanks and aquarium fish collections.”

The work is being scheduled after the busy summer season.

“It is expected that the North Rock exhibit will remain open to the public during the construction, while the fish and live corals in the existing tanks, directly affected by the roof replacement, will either be temporarily housed in other holding tanks or released into the wild,” Dr Walker added.

He said the cutting of Government’s grants to the Bermuda Zoological Society wouldn’t stop the BZS from offering its educational programmes.

“With regards to the loss of the BZS Educational Science and Biodiversity Research grants, the organisation was aware that this was a possibility given the current financial climate.

“There is no doubt that the loss of both grants will have a significant impact on the BZS and make it more challenging to operate.

“However over the last year the BZS has worked extremely hard to reorganise and restructure to make itself as lean as possible.”

Savings measures, plus donations and community support, would enable the BZS not only to maintain its programmes for schools, but to expand its offerings, to meet growing demands from “both the public and private school system as well as the community at large”, he said.

To book classes, including free access to the BAMZ bus and the science boat Endurance, Dr Walker asked teachers to make the enquiries at the aquarium.

Useful website: www.bamz.org.