St. Andrews — What was once New Brunswick’s most fun-filled educational aquarium is now the scene of an alleged crime. The Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews announced today that it will be shutting down pending the results of an investigation by the RCMP after they received numerous complaints that the clams, starfish, sea cucumbers, and other denizens of their popular “touch tank” were being touched without giving prior consent.
According to the centre’s spokesperson, Leo Dimmond, the staff first became aware of the issue after PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) activists showed up to protest.
“There was a lot of chanting and signs with bad rhymes, such as ‘Don’t tussle the mussel!’, ‘Hands off the clams’, and ‘I’d rather get scurvy than be pervy!’, to name a few,” explained Dimmond. “We really didn’t think it would be a big deal, as it kind of seemed funny… Until someone in the protest posted about it on Tumblr and Internet social justice warriors rallied to the cause.”
Dimmond said that visitors are afraid of wading through the angry protesters and attracting their ire and insults, which is having a negative impact on local tourism. Dimmond hopes the protesters will get bored and leave, but isn’t very hopeful of that happening soon.
“The sea cucumber is a majestic, noble animal that has hopes, dreams and feelings just like you and I,” ranted misguided activist Tori Noseworthy. “It’s cursed with a phallic shape that makes it prime material for the attention of predatory children!”
RCMP spokesperson Tim Matthews said that the investigation has reached a standstill because the alleged victims won’t testify.
“We’ve encountered a barrier to this case, due to the fact that starfish, mollusks, crabs and the like can’t actually speak. We’re flying a marine biologist over from Newfoundland to try to help us interpret their movements and see if it will give us any clues,” explained Matthews. “The hope is that this was all just a big misunderstanding, and we can all go back to happily stroking slimy sea creatures like before.”
Mathews urges anyone with photo evidence of their kids wrongfully touching the sea creatures to send them to the RCMP to help with the ongoing investigation, and reminds the public that intentionally withholding evidence that could help a legal case is a federal offence.