The Texas State Aquarium reported Wednesday that while trying to control and especially difficult parasite, approximately 400 fish that inhabited several large habitats, including the Islands of Steel exhibit and the Flower Gardens exhibit, were killed as a result of a reaction to the parasitic treatment.

Sand Tiger shark/NOAA Ocean Explorer
Sand Tiger shark/NOAA Ocean Explorer

Aquarium officials say the majority of the Aquarium’s animal collection was not impacted. The loss represents about 13 percent of the Aquarium’s overall collection.

Aquarium Chief Marketing Officer, Richard E. Glover Jr. said they were trying to kill a parasitic worm known as trematodes, or flukes. It is not clear what chemical was used in the attempt to kill the parasites.

“This is a very sad day at the Texas State Aquarium,” remarked Glover. “We are working diligently to find out what caused the adverse reaction, and we will keep the public informed with any updates.”

The fish in the Islands of Steel exhibit included nurse sharks, green moray eels, spadefish, amberjack, tarpon, grouper, and even a sand tiger shark.

In a post on their officials Facebook page earlier today, they write:

We would like to take a moment to thank our community, supporters, and fans for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received during this challenging time. Our facility is open and our hearts are full of appreciation for the immense amount of kindness and concern we have received from all of you. Please bear with us as we navigate through this difficult loss and please know that we will continue to update you with further details and information as it becomes available. Thank you.