Plans for a Basel zoo aquarium washed away
A controversial project to build a giant aquarium complex for Basel Zoo has been rejected by voters.
The Basel Zoological Garden is Switzerland’s oldest and largest zoo and attracted about 930,000 visitors last year. It had hoped the planned aquarium would attract some 700,000 additional visitors a year. The new buildings were to house several thousand animals from all climates in about 40 aquariums, including an eight-metre-high single aquarium. This would have been home to sharks, rays, penguins, corals and deep-sea dwellers, living in tidal zones.
However, nearly 55% of voters voted against an amendment to the cantonal building regulations, effectively bringing an end to plans for the aquarium.
Environmentalists and animal rights groups had argued that an ‘Oceanium’ was not sustainable. However, Zoo Basel said the project would contribute to nature conservation and environmental education.