The good news is that there was apparently no loss of human life from the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Sadly, Aquamarine Fukushima -- which sits closer to the epicenter and was hit by tsunami waters -- will lose much of its living collection. We just learned from the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums that arrangements are being made to move the surviving mammals and birds to other zoos and aquariums in Japan. This includes Eurasian otters, walruses, Steller sea lions and tufted puffins.
This video clip, posted to our Facebook page, shows Aquamarine Fukushima in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. As you'll see, its beautiful buildings are standing but show damage to the first floor from floodwaters. Life support systems and seawater intake lines have been knocked out, according to the information we've received.
Monterey Bay Aquarium has enjoyed sister aquarium relationships with both institutions for many years. We've welcomed staff from the two Japanese aquariums here in Monterey, and our staff have interned in Japan. Our connections are deep, personal and long-lasting. So the news of damage, loss and recovery is all the more painful.
As we find ways to be of help to our sister aquariums, and as we learn more about their evolving situation, we'll let you know. Right now, Japan's most pressing need is disaster relief. A number of respected international organizations have risen to the challenge. You can support their work with online or text message donations.
And please: Hold them close in your hearts.