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Kind Words About Austin Aquarium

RECEIVED Mon., March 3, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I'm writing in response to Gwen McKenna's letter in the Chronicle criticizing the Austin Aquarium [“Appalled at Aquarium,” Postmarks, Feb. 28]. I have a different opinion, as apparently do the hundreds of people whose cars crowd the parking lot on weekends. Children – and adults – are reminded constantly to wash their hands before touching the animals and then to touch them with only two fingers. There are several stations for hand washing and they even provide cloth towels which can be washed rather than creating litter with paper towels. The workers are knowledgeable and help the kids to understand the animals. My granddaughter loves feeding and petting the rays and has declared that she wants to be a veterinarian.
    They are careful with the animals, recently halting allowing kids to feed the rays for a couple of weeks to evaluate their health. So I believe the animals are being treated well. Given all of the negative publicity the aquarium received before opening, I think the city of Austin is looking for reasons to shut the aquarium down, and they haven't found any.
James Smith
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