Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil prosecutors probe deaths of 10,000 aquarium fish

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Prosecutors in Brazil have begun investigating the deaths of about 10,000 fish that had been brought in to fill a huge freshwater aquarium.

Building work on the project, in the western city of Campo Grande, overran and the fish died in temporary tanks.

The company contracted to look after them, Anambi, blamed the deaths on a drop in overnight temperatures in May, as winter set in.

But authorities in Mato Grosso do Sul state blamed the company.

Officials said a study had found evidence of poor oxygenation and inadequate cleaning of the tanks.

Many of the fish had been imported from Africa, Asia and Oceania and should have been transferred to a permanent aquarium six months ago.

"The transfer of fish was planned between January and February, but the [permanent] tanks were not ready," Anambi's Augusto Silva told Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

The Aquario do Pantanal was initiated by the previous governor, Andre Puccinelli.

The project has so far cost about $50m (£30m) and it is not clear when it will be finished.

It is hoped that the aquarium will attract thousands of tourists to Campo Grande.

The city is the main hub for people travelling to visit the Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater wetland, covering much of Mato Grosso do Sul state and parts of Bolivia and Paraguay.

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