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Vancouver Aquarium lays off nearly 350 workers due to coronavirus outbreak

Señor Cinco, a sea lion at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Señor Cinco, a sea lion at the Vancouver Aquarium. Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium announced staffing cuts on Wednesday, after shutting its doors to the public over a week ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ocean Wise Conservation Association, which operates the attraction, has laid off 60 per cent of its workforce — about 343 employees, most of whom work in operations jobs such cafe service, interpreting, and marketing.

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A small team remains on site to look after the 70,000 animals living at the aquarium and Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, also in Vancouver.

“We can’t just lock the doors and turn off the lights,” like other attractions, said spokesperson Amber Sessions in an email to Global News. “We have our animals to care for.”

Global News Morning gets a sweet visitor on World Penguin Day
Global News Morning gets a sweet visitor on World Penguin Day

As a result, the organization estimates it will lose $3.2 million per month in revenue.

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– With files from Lauren Donnellan