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Donors raise $625K in a week after Vancouver Aquarium warns it could go bankrupt

A child watches a sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium.
A child watches a sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium. Simon Little / Global News

The Vancouver Aquarium says it’s been able to raise about $625,000 in just a week since officials warned it could go bankrupt due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Ocean Wise Conservation Association, which operates the facility, said last week that it spends more than $1 million per month to care for the animals and keep the water circulating at the aquarium.

READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium faces bankruptcy amid coronavirus shutdown

Since then, the organization said it has already raised the huge sum from more than 8,200 people — some of them aquarium members and some from as far away as Finland.

Vancouver Aquarium says it could close permanently because of COVID-19 crisis
Vancouver Aquarium says it could close permanently because of COVID-19 crisis

Since the facility closed on March 17, Ocean Wise said it has undertaken several cost-cutting measures, including laying off 60 per cent of its staff and reducing hours for others, suspending operations at its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in Vancouver, and voluntary pay cuts for executives.

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READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium lays off nearly 350 workers due to coronavirus outbreak

Staff remain in “productive” talks with the provincial government, the association said, but donors are still needed to ensure it survives the pandemic.