The destruction of a 180-gallon reef tank

February 25th, 2013 azgardens

There are people out there who just want to watch the world burn or, in this case, smashing in a reef tank at an aquarium and pet center in Fall River, MA.


Reports indicate that a group of men broke through the front doors of Animal Instincts and stole registers, computer system and a reptile display.  Much of the media coverage, however, focuses on one vandal in particular.


In the article, “Vandal smashes Mass. Aquarium, killing fish, coral,” the AP reports, “A vandal who broke into a Fall River fish and pet store destroyed a 180-gallon reef tank, killing nearly all the fish and coral.” 25 tropical fish and 40 corals died!  Owners of aquarium and pet centers put their hearts and souls into the fish, plants and tanks.  By destroying the tank and killing the fish and coral, the vandal also killed a part of the owner’s soul.  Fish that you care for and love are not easily replaceable.  They are part of your family.


Bob Schenck, owner of the store, calls the attack “malicious.” Who would break a reef tank?  What is the purpose in that?  Could it be a personal attack?  The hoodlum did not just break the tank, he went out of his way to destroy it.  The AP reports, “The vandal struck the large tank with a pipe several times until it finally cracked.  Moments later, he took out a piece of glass from the tank to make the water inside gush out faster.”


Why on earth would anyone do that?  They already had the registers and computer system.  To steal money is one thing, but to smash in a tank and remove a piece of glass to make the water gush out faster is, as Schenck put it, “malicious.” The vandal deliberately killed the fish and plants.  There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.  There is, however, a small piece of good we can pull from the situation.


Big Blue, an 18-year-old tropical fish, survived.  Much like a castaway thrown from a shipwreck, authorities discovered Big Blue struggling for life in a pool of water.  Life’s candle is tough to snuff out, especially in a fish and a fighter.  No matter if they are of water, they will scratch and claw their way to survival.  Big Blue is a fighter.  So far, it looks like Big Blue will “make” it.


If anything, we should emulate Big Blue.  Life is far from perfect.  Every so often vandals smash in our hearts tanks, and our emotional guts gush out.  Like Big Blue, we must not give up.  Someone or something will come by and help us pick up the pieces.


For more information on the vandalism, you can find the AP report here, and the Boston Globe article here.


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