Aquarium damaged in Gonzalo

Hurricane Gonzalo caused substantial damage to Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo — including tearing the roof off an exhibit and serious coastal erosion.

But principal curator Ian Walker told The Royal Gazette today that all animals were safe and staff were working around the clock to try to get the facility open by tomorrow.

“We came through fairly well,” he said. “All the animals seem fine; all the people seem exhausted.

“Three people stayed throughout the whole thing. They rode out the storm, dealing with various things as they arose: tanks overflowing and so forth.

“We have got some interesting damage. We have lost a roof from our Australasia exhibit but our biggest issue seems to be erosion of our north coast.

“We are going to figure out how to rope off certain areas.”

The three staff who stayed overnight were Roger Simmons, Steve Davis and Jermiko Dillas.

More arrived first thing this morning to help clean up.

Dr Walker said: “It’s a good team here. They come, they work hard to try to make it a great community asset, despite any challenges that might arise.

“I can’t say enough about them.”

Many of the animals at BAMZ in Flatts, including most birds and the lemurs, were brought inside into holding areas last night.

But those able to find suitable shelter in their outside enclosures, did so, including Oscar the alligator, the flamingos, the giant Galapagos tortoises and the seals.

Robbie Smith, curator of the Natural History Museum, said: “Animals are sensitive. They get a little anxious — I’m sure they felt exactly the same as us hearing that wind. Now they are waiting to get food.”

The only animal casualty was a yellow crown night heron brought in to BAMZ with a badly broken right wing by a member of the public.

Dr Walker had to put it down. “It was in shock so I don’t think it would have lasted much longer,” he said.

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Published Oct 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm (Updated Oct 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm)

Aquarium damaged in Gonzalo

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