11/02/2012 09:14 am ET Updated Nov 02, 2012

New York Aquarium May Evacuate: Hurricane Sandy Power Outage Threatens Coney Island Institution

The New York Aquarium in Coney Island faces the threat of having to evacuate nearly 12,000 water-dependent animals if power is not restored soon.

Crains New York reports 18 of the aquarium's staff members have been caring for the animals while working to restore filtration. But a spokesperson for the aquarium said they were now at a "very critical period."

The aquarium previously reported Mitik, the recently rescued baby walrus, had survived the storm despite extensive flooding to the facilities.

New York Aquarium Executive Vice President Jim Breheny said in a statement, "As an orphaned calf, he was experiencing some health issues when he came to us as a rescue. “We have been monitoring his condition carefully since his arrival and continued this around-the-clock care throughout the duration of the storm.”

Over the past few days, Hurricane Sandy crippled Coney Island's iconic boardwalk. Numerous reports indicate looting and violence have also broken out.



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