The creator of a petition to have a sturgeon released from a display at the new Tsawwassen Mills mall says she’s devastated to learn that the fish has died.
Laura Leyburn and her dad John set up the petition earlier this month calling for the five-foot fish to be removed from the 15,000-gallon freshwater aquarium in the Bass Pro Shop:
“These creatures can live up to 150 years, it is not right that they should keep it captive. In British Columbia, Sturgeon fishing is strictly “Catch and Release” the fish are tagged, measured and released to the wild, incredible data is kept and analysed for the survival of the species. Bass Pro has no right to retain this species.”
When it first entered the tank, the creature’s behaviour was said to have been unusual as it was seen bobbing at the surface.
But fast-forward three weeks, and it’s now too little too late.
Laura says she’s disappointed her efforts didn’t pay off.
“We did our best we could do from the social media stand point but I feel like I should have done more. Perhaps it could have had a different outcome. Most creatures aren’t meant to be kept in captivity, especially for entertainment purposes.”
She says if there’s any kind of a positive to the story, she hopes that the attention prevents something like this from happening again.
“It’s upsetting, but the only positive outcome is that we have raised awareness and we’ve kind of proved a point from this I suppose, but it’s hard to say what these corporate companies are going to do next.”
The shop has issued a statement, which can be read below.
While the sturgeon’s behavior was initially determined to be typical for fish in new environments, it continued beyond the standard acclimation period. After performing an additional examination that revealed significant internal complications, veterinarians concluded the most responsible action was to humanely euthanize the fish. While full results are still pending, the condition was unrelated to the aquarium or the care provided and the fish fish likely developed the condition prior to its arrival.
Bass Pro Shops has extensive experience caring for live fish with elaborate aquariums throughout North America. Nobody cares more about the health and well-being of the animals than we do, which is why we go to extensive lengths to ensure their welfare with onsite marine biologists and veterinarians caring for the fish in our care.
Our mission is to inspire people to enjoy, love and conserve the outdoors. When people come to Bass Pro Shops and see these incredible animals up close, we know they will want to explore their natural habitats and help protect our native species for future generations.