October 25, 2016 8:58 am
Updated: October 25, 2016 12:16 pm

SPCA investigating the death of a sturgeon at Tsawwassen Mills mall

ABOVE: Tsawwassen’s new mega-mall has made plenty of headlines since its opening. Now one of the mall’s tenants is the focus of a bizarre investigation involving the SPCA. Catherine Urquhart has the exclusive details.

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The BC SPCA is now investigating the death of a sturgeon at the Bass Pro Shop in the Tsawwassen Mills mall.

“We do  currently have an active and open investigation into the death of the sturgeon,” said Marcie Moriarty, head of the BC SPCA’s Prevention and Enforcement Department. “Right now I understand the fish is undergoing a necropsy and of course we’ll be waiting for those results.”

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The metre-long sturgeon was being held in the pro shop’s 15,000 gallon aquarium and was on display to the public. Typically a bottom feeder, the fish could be seen floating at an angle with its nose above the surface when the mall first opened a few weeks ago.

After a vet determined the sturgeon was unwell, the fish was euthanized.

In a statement, Bass Pro Shops said:

Bass Pro Shops has extensive experience caring for live fish with elaborate aquariums throughout North America. Nobody cares more about the health and well-being of the animals than we do, which is why we go to extensive lengths to ensure their welfare with onsite marine biologists and veterinarians caring for the fish in our care.

READ MORE: Tsawwassen Mills outlet shopping mall opens

In the wild, the white sturgeon is a threatened species. The one that died came from a commercial farm on the Sunshine Coast.

Bass Pro Shops isn’t saying if it plans to replace the white sturgeon at this time.

“We not only want to see the basic level of care being provided for animals but that the five freedoms are maintained and that includes their ability to express natural behaviours,” said Moriarty.

-With files from Catherine Urquhart

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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