MILWAUKIE, Ore. -- The owner of the Portland Aquarium, who is currently the focus of an Oregon Humane Society investigation, has been ordered to remove animals from the site of his future aquarium in Texas.
Vince Covino was told by city leaders in Austin to remove fish from the facility until it can be brought up to code.
The city said the site doesn't have the paperwork needed to house livestock. It also doesn't have a building permit for all the work needed to convert the site into an aquarium.
Meantime, the investigation into Covino’s Portland Aquarium continues. The investigation was initiated after a death log came to light showing more than 200 animals had died over the past spring. Covino later told the Oregonian that the death log appeared to be fabricated or skewed.
The Portland Aquarium opened in December of 2012, at 16323 SE McLoughlin Boulevard in Milwaukie. On busy days it can draw nearly 3,000 visitors a day.
Covino and his brother Ammon also own the Idaho Aquarium in Boise. Ammon Covino was arrested this past February for allegedly purchasing marine life illegally in Florida and shipping it without a permit to another aquarium the brothers own in Boise, ID.
The director of the Portland Aquarium said every animal there was purchased through legitimate dealers and with proper permits.
None of the Lemon Sharks or Spotted Rays purchased illegally in Florida were shipped to Portland. Court documents, however, suggested that Covino tried to get some for the Portland business.