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Last day Vancouver Aquarium open to public before shift to conservation

Last Updated Sep 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm PDT

FILE - The outside of the Vancouver Aquarium is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Vancouver Aquarium is pausing all in-person public programming and will focus on ocean conservation

Otters, sea lions, and other rescued mammals can be seen via live stream

Ocean Wise programs and mammal rescue programs will continue

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — After more than 70 years in operation, the Vancouver Aquarium is closing its doors to the public at the end of the day Monday — at least temporarily.

Those who run the facility say it will allow resources to be focused on conservation, mammal rescue, and providing care for thousands of existing animals and specimens.

Otters, sea lions, and other rescued mammals will only be available to visit via live streaming, webcams, and online education programs.

Recently tangled in controversy regarding its whale and dolphin programs, the Aquarium is also home to Ocean Wise research and education programs.

RELATED: Vancouver Aquarium to close indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic

Administrators blame the pandemic for the cash crunch that pushed them to come up with new plans for the facility in Stanley Park.

More than 200 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result of this closure.

The aquarium, which was forced to shut its doors to visitors on March 17, only reopened in June.

-With files from Hana Mae Nassar