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Darth Vader takes a shine to Kate
0/24/2012 7:20:00 AM
Raymond Hainey Senior Reporter
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24: A volunteer at the Bermuda Aquarium was adopted by a 70 pound grouper dubbed Darth Vader.
The massive fish took a shine to Kate Cooper, who spent the summer working at the Flatts attraction, and followed her around like a puppy as she cleaned the inside of the glass in the fish tanks.
Ms Cooper, who is studying zoology and conservation at Bangor University in Wales, worked at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) after winning the Ernest E. Stempel internship.
She also took part in the Bermuda Turtle Project, helping to tag turtles to track their movements around the ocean.
Fish tale: Darth Vader, a grouper at the Bermuda
Aquarium and Zoo, likes to hang around Kate Cooper
when she is cleaning the tank. *Photo supplied
Ms Cooper, 18, from Pembroke, signed up as a junior volunteer at the aquarium five years ago, later being offered a part-time job as a junior aquarist, which she held for three years before going to university.
The former Bermuda High School for Girls pupil has also taken part in the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS) and Audubon Society residential natural history course on Nonsuch Island and after being given the Mervyn White Memorial Award for academic excellence, helped the run course last year.
She was also awarded a Steinhoff scholarship last year.
She said: “BAMZ and BZS have given me so many opportunities over the past five years. I’ve had hands-on experience in the field and many opportunities to talk to leading scientists.
“Without the support and help from BAMZ and BZS, I may not have the same interest that I do now. I am very grateful for the scholarship and the experiences provided to me and I feel it will help me return to Bermuda and hopefully help inspire the next generation.”
The huge fish is named after the sinister black-clad villain of the Star Wars series of films.