How Japanese zoos & aquariums fared
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2011:
TOKYO–Fourteen zoos and aquariums were hit by the Thoku Chih
earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, Japan Association of
Zoos & Aquariums chair Shigeyuki Yamamoto confirmed on March 18,
2011, but for most the earthquake and tsunami were much less
problematic than trying to keep animals alive amid the shortages of
supplies, electricity, and transportation that followed.
“Due to the inability to distribute resources, including
feed, water, electricity, and other basic necessities,” Yamamoto
said, “zoos and aquariums have suffered greatly in their ability to
acquire the proper commodities for the animals. JAZA, in
cooperation with our member institutions, has already been
cooperating in supplying as many resources as possible to those
Details were collected for JAZA by veterinarian Kazutoshi
Takami. “The Aquamarine Fukushima aquarium was flooded to the second
floor. The life support system failed, and fish died, but marine
mammals survived,” Takami wrote. Surviving animals including
walruses, sea lions, Eurasian otters, common murres, and tufted
puffins were on March 17 evacuated to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo,
Kamogawa Sea World in Chiba, Kasai Sea Life Park, Enoshima Aquarium,
and Izu Mito Sea Paradise.
“The Marinepia Matsushima aquarium,” in Miyagi, “was
completely flooded,” Takami continued, “but miraculously all of the
staff and animals are fine.” A backup generator kept the facilities
The Yagiyama Zoological Park, at the top of Mount Yagiyama
near the center of Sendai, kept 550 animals of 145 species high and
dry, but was left short of food and staff, due to the destruction
of the surrounding region. The Yagiyama Zoo was the first to receive
relief supplies from JAZA, arriving on March 18 after a 230-mile
haul from Tokyo that took all day.
The Yagiyama Zoo was also without electricity for a prolonged
time, along with the Akita Omori-yama Zoo, Morioka Zoo in Iwate,
Aomori Asamushi Aquarium, Hitachi Kamine Zoo, Ibaraki Oarai
Aquarium, and the Oga Aquarium in Ojika.
Mammals and birds can be kept alive without electricity, but
fish in tanks depend on working aeration systems to get oxygen.
The South Carolina Aquarium, in Charleston, scheduled an
April 6 reception and silent auction to benefit JAZA and the American