Some of the world’s most endangered fish almost became extinct – after workers cut through a water pipe near an aquarium.
The accident happened when contractors were working not far from Tropiquaria Zoo in Somerset.
A pipe was cut by a digger and supply to the attraction was cut as staff were changing the water in some of its fish tanks – leaving them half-empty.
Tropiquaria director Chris Moiser said Wessex Water would not provide an emergency browser because the disconnection did not affect people – only animals.
Chris says they have 50 percent of the world’s population of some species of fish – which are extinct in the wild.
Species that would have been decimated include the Mexican Goodeid and Monterrey Platy.
He said the pipework was cut by a digger in Smithyard Lane, Washford, not far from Tropiquaria Zoo, on Tuesday.
He said: “A digger driver could have been responsible for the extinction of a fish.
“Without water in a few hours, we could lose fish, certainly overnight.
“I have 50 percent of the world population of some species of fish which are extinct in the wild.
They include the Mexican Goodeid and the Monterrey Platy, both of which are similar to the more common guppy fish, and the Allodontichthys polylepis, a similar species from Central America.
Tropiquaria does not receive any Government funding for its conservation projects and relies entirely on admission fees and donations from individuals and small businesses.
It is currently trying to raise £5,000 ($6,394) toward the next stage of its conservation program to increase the number of species it can breed.
Moiser said about 100 visitors had to be turned away and those already inside had to be given refunds.
“It happened to us and through no fault of our own.”
Moiser put out a call for help on social media and within minutes local people were offering their support.
However, the water supply was restored by a Wessex Water team after a few hours and the help was not actually needed.
Moiser said: “The fact that we had so much support locally made me proud to live in Somerset.
“I was even more proud because several staff stayed on to make sure that everything was fine when we were reconnected.”
A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “Our water main was damaged by a third party on Tuesday afternoon and we were able to carry out a repair and get customers back into supply in just over four hours.
“We are aware that a local wildlife park contacted us to request alternative water supply while the main was being repaired and we explained that, as they are a business customer, they needed to contact their business water retailer to arrange this.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker