LEON VALLEY, Texas – The San Antonio Aquarium was closed temporarily by the city of Leon Valley for six days after multiple safety hazards were found following a routine fire inspection last week, which had violations ranging from unsecured propane tanks to hazardous electrical wiring.
The aquarium is set to reopen on Wednesday.
“We’ll have the final inspection hopefully tomorrow and (hope to) be back open on Wednesday,” said Jen Spellman, general manager of the San Antonio Aquarium.
Spellman said a city inspector smelled gas while he was on the aquarium roof on Friday. As a safety precaution, the building was evacuated.
Spellman said the problem has been fixed and that no one, nor any animals, were harmed.
The aquarium complied with the city’s requests to fix fire code violations and is now waiting for the city to give the green light.
Aquarium staff members hoped to open over the weekend, but since that didn't happen, it cost the business thousands of dollars.
Spellman said busy times during weekends can bring in around $100,000 and thousands of guests.
The aquarium had to cancel 12 birthday parties during the closure.
“It was really disappointing having to cancel all the birthday parties and all the groups that we had planned on coming out,” Spellman said. “That’s never something that we like doing.”
It’s not just finances hurting. Spellman said even though they are feeding and caring for the animals with only a staff of four at a time, the closure has started to affect the animals.
“I think they are feeling a little bit out of sorts just wondering what’s going on because usually we have people in the aquarium petting them, playing with them, doing the training, hand-feeding, all of that stuff,” Spellman said.
The animals are all getting the care and food they need, but just the bare minimum attention from trainers at this point, according to Spellman.
She said when the aquarium reopens, she hopes the community embraces them and continues with visits and birthday parties.