The National Aquarium will be relocated while the Department of Commerce building undergoes renovations. Reports the Washington Post:
The renovations mean the aquarium must move its collection of 250-plus species of 1,500 aquatic creatures—including toads, snakes and salamanders—to other accredited zoos and aquariums. Aquarium officials said that many of the animals will move to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, but some might have to find homes in zoos across the country.
Interestingly, many of the animals interviewed by the Post said they hoped never to return. “It’s like living in Silence of the Lambs,” complained one salamander. “I’d rather be in someone’s soup than go back,” vowed a snapping turtle. “It’s damaging to your self-esteem,” complained a water moccasin. “All those visitors look so disappointed—I can read their lips and I know they’re saying, ‘Is this it?'”
If you have ever been to the National Aquarium, located in the darkened basement of the Commerce building, it’s a bit hard to imagine 1,500 creatures actually living there (did this include the cockroach I saw scuttle its way under a bench?). The place resembles someone’s giant rec-room though, to be fair, I am sure they replaced the carpet as recently as 1985.