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Arnhem coral emigrates to England en masse
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Arnhem coral emigrates to England en masse

Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Arnhem coral emigrates to England en masse

Royal Burgers’ Zoo donates more than 300 captive-born corals, sea anemones and fish to Sea Life London and Chester Zoo in England

The biologists and zookeepers of Burgers' Ocean are facing a historic milestone: on Wednesday 23 January 2019, more than 300 captive-born corals, sea anemones and coral fish will leave for England. Royal Burgers' Zoo is donating these animals from its breeding facility to Sea Life London and Chester Zoo. Thanks to the breeding success in Arnhem, Burgers' Zoo's tropical coral reef aquarium has been the main supplier of corals to fellow European aquariums for years.

The foundation for English coral reef

A new basin has been installed at Sea Life London for the construction of a living coral reef. The foundation of a coral reef is formed by stony corals that owe their name to the fact that they build a sturdy limestone skeleton. The London coral reef will receive 170 stony corals and 90 soft corals that were bred in Arnhem. Some ten corals and ten sea anemones in the same transport will be brought to Chester Zoo.

Harvesting  coral reef

More than ninety per cent of the corals were harvested from the living coral reef on display at Burgers' Ocean. The remaining ten per cent were bred behind the scenes. Biologist Max Janse: ‘We are very proud that our coral reef is growing so fast that we are forced to “prune” it regularly. When corals grow too close to each other, they start “quarrelling” and become a negative influence on each other. Moreover, it is a significant development for the future that our success in breeding allows us to donate coral colonies to various European colleague aquariums.”

Europe's largest living coral reef

Burgers' Ocean is a tropical coral reef aquarium with eight million litres of water. A significant part of the Arnhem aquarium is the living coral reef housed in a basin of 750,000 litres of water. This living coral reef in Arnhem is the largest of all public aquariums in Europe. There is only one larger living coral reef in aquaria in the world, in Townsville, Australia.

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