Idaho Aquarium employees hope to restore the community's trust
Jennifer Auh talks to Idaho Aquarium employees about their leaders' arrests. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The workers at the Idaho Aquarium talked to Today’s 6 and FOX9 On Your Side about how they're taking extra steps to make sure everything they do is on the up and up, after police arrested the aquarium’s leaders for illegally purchasing marine wildlife.
On Wednesday, the aquarium was somewhat busy and operating as usual, despite a lot of troubles for its managers.
Federal agents arrested the directors, Ammon Covino and Chris Conk, last Thursday for illegally buying and shipping four spotted eagle rays and two lemon sharks from Florida.
On Tuesday, the agents arrested Covino again for violating the terms of his release, and then his nephew for obstruction of justice.
According to investigators, Covino directed his nephew to destroy certain information on a recent order of illegal nurse sharks.
However, since then, aquarium workers said they've put new procedures in place. "After Thursday’s incident, I sat down on the computer on Friday and came up with an animal acquisition form,” said Nathan Hall, Marine Biologist. “It’s a multi-step check list that I go through and make sure that everything's done, that we're getting the correct permits and health certificate, before any animals are ordered. Then, it gets signed and dated by me.”
The aquarium employees said they hope to restore the community's confidence and keep the doors open. Covino and Conk are each charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of illegally purchasing marine wildlife. They're set to appear in Florida Federal Court on March 15th.
In the meantime, the assistant director of the aquarium has stepped in to fill their shoes.