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Oklahoma Aquarium Will Downsize to 10 On-Site Employees Under Gov. Stitt's Latest Order

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 23:19:48-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Aquarium will miss peak field trip season. This time of year, they are ready to welcome thousands of students from schools across Green Country. Instead, they prep for a downsize in staff.

Following Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s new order, after Wednesday, only 10 employees will care for the 10,000 animals at the aquarium.

Alyssa Rodriguez, the aquarium’s education specialist, says “For those who do take care of the animals, they’ve been coming in and making sure they get their normal standard of care. Those of us who have been working remotely are just in limbo like the rest of the world, waiting to see guests again.”

The aquarium is in week two of closure. The first week was spring break.

Rodriguez says, “Spring break is one of our busiest weeks. Having to be closed during spring break is going to take a toll on the aquarium.”

They are uncertain when the sea critters will have an audience again, but there is still a way for fans to see them.

10 bull sharks and three nurse sharks will entertain people online. The aquarium is working on streaming a live tank feed.

As they adapt to this dry time for visitors, they are also educating students stuck at home.

“We’ve started a program called Unstoppable Science,” says Rodriguez. “That’s because science doesn’t stop. We’re going to be releasing a new activity every single day.”

The videos are on the aquarium's website and Facebook page.

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