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

click to enlarge 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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