Oldest US aquarium closes its doors

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The National Aquarium in Washington DC is to close today (September 30).

The attraction was the nation's first public aquarium and is the longest continuously operating aquarium in the US.

It was first established in 1873 in Massachusetts as part of the US Commission of Fish and Fisheries. The National Aquarium has been in its current location inside the Department of Commerce building since 1932, when it opened to visitors with a collection of 180 species of fish, reptiles and other aquatic animals.

Since then its collection has grown to more than 2,500 animals from 250 species, but renovation work means the aquarium needs to move out before March next year.

The September closing date will allow the aquarium time to relocate its animals to new homes at either the National Aquarium, Baltimore, or at other accredited aquariums.

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