San Antonio Aquarium Cited and Shut Down for Staying Open to the Public in Defiance of Emergency Order


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Who woulda thunk that a business built on profiting from the exploitation of animals would appear to thumb its nose at public safety concerns?

Surprise surprise, the San Antonio Aquarium — a privately-owned attraction, unlike the non-profit San Antonio Zoo — had to be visited by Leon Valley Police not once but twice on Saturday for violating the emergency declaration closing all non-essential businesses to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to KSAT, the aquarium flouted the order and remained open over the weekend, and even had a notice on its website "[reassuring] customers that the building was clean and that they had plenty of soap and hand sanitizer."

On Saturday, after warning aquarium officials several times, the Leon Valley Police Department issued a citation. Then, a few hours later, police returned to find the business still open. They issued a second citation and escorted approximately 15 people out of the building.

If the aquarium violates the order a third time, it will lose its certificate of occupancy.

This isn't the first time the aquarium has displayed a laissez-faire attitude toward public officials' safety concerns — in late 2018, the Leon Valley Fire Department evacuated the aquarium and ordered it closed due to multiple code violations, including "unsecured propane tanks, heaters in unvented enclosures, a hazardous gas main tap, blocked or inappropriate emergency exits and non-compliant, hazardous electrical wiring."

Currently, the aquarium is only allowed to let employees in to care for the animals on site.

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