Portland Aquarium in Milwaukie area to close down in February - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Aquarium in Milwaukie area to close down in February

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Portland Aquarium, file image Portland Aquarium, file image

The Portland Aquarium is set to shut down in February.

The aquarium opened in June 2012 in a former steakhouse in the Milwaukie area.

In a release sent out by the aquarium on Thursday, founder Vince Covino said they are looking for a new location that will be twice the size of the current building.

According to the aquarium's release, the 12,000-square-foot building housing the aquarium at 16323 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd. has been sold and will be demolished early next year.

"We loved transforming a steakhouse into an interactive aquarium, but we knew we would eventually outgrow this facility. We also knew going into it the risk that this building might sell due to the high value of large lot on a busy thoroughfare. Our next Portland location will at least twice this size, and in a more fitting destination area. We're excited about the future in Portland, though we will be more patient in finding the right location next time," Covino said in a statement.

The aquarium's last day of operation is set to be Feb. 16.

All the animals, including sharks, stingrays, chameleons, snakes and forest dragons will be relocated to other aquariums across the country, according to the aquarium's release regarding the closure.

Portland Aquarium co-founder Ammon Covino was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison in late 2013 for the illegal shipping of protected sharks and rays from Florida to the Idaho Aquarium, where he was also president.

After Ammon Covino pleaded guilty, Vince Covino released a series of questions and answers that addressed concerns regarding the Portland Aquarium and said all fish at the aquarium were legally obtained and fully permitted.

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