Toledo Zoo relocates aquarium creatures for renovations - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo Zoo relocates aquarium creatures for renovations

About 25 percent of the Toledo Zoo's aquarium creatures have been moved to another location for renovations. About 25 percent of the Toledo Zoo's aquarium creatures have been moved to another location for renovations.
Many of the fish cannot be replaced, and coral takes too long to grow from scratch. Many of the fish cannot be replaced, and coral takes too long to grow from scratch.
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Toledo Zoo is in full gear making renovations to its historic aquarium building. As the multimillion dollar project continues, about one-quarter of its aquarium collection has been relocated to a temporary holding facility inside a nearby warehouse.

Curator Jay Hemdal says fan favorites, such as the alligator snapping turtle, are being kept alive in tanks not currently open for public viewing.

"It has all the safety features. It has an emergency generator. We have night security to check at night, just like in the old aquarium. It's a holding facility for about 25 percent of the animals that used to be in the aquarium," said Hemdal.

Hemdal says many of the fish they decided to keep cannot be replaced.

"The Lake Victorian Cichlids we've been breeding since 1990, and they're thought to be extinct in the wild, so they can't be replaced. The Australian Lungfish are an endangered species in Australia, we got ours because they're captive-raised," explained Hemdal.

In the case of the coral saved from the old aquarium, Hemdal says the zoo does not have the time to start from scratch.

"Coral colonies grow very slowly. A coral head might start at a half-inch in diameter, and then take 25 years to be a foot in diameter," said Hemdal.

Stingrays being kept in the holding facility will be part of a new, hands-on exhibit when the Toledo Zoo reopens the aquarium some time in the first half of 2015.

The $25.5 million project is being paid for with levy money and private donations.

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