Calamity of the clams - aquarium takes on a giant delivery
Sunday 13 February 2011
Donning beautiful green and blue frills, giant clams are fast becoming the jewel in the crown for many aquarists’ private collections.
But the high demand for these mammoth molluscs means customs are on the lookout for illegal imports; as ZSL’s aquarium team is well aware of.
“A few weeks ago we had a call from customs at Heathrow asking whether we could take on some confiscated clams,” said Rachel Jones, assistant team leader at the aquarium.
“However it turned out to be more than just a few, and the following day we were unpacking 800 juvenile giant clams.”
ZSL London Zoo’s aquarium has a long-standing relationship with the UK Borders Agency, and often helps it care for confiscated animals; whether that means housing them at ZSL or finding new homes in other collections.
“As the clams were transported from a farm in the Cook Islands, they weren’t too happy when they arrived. However by gradually getting them used to the chemistry and temperature of our water, they’ve settled in well to life in our aquarium,” Rachel added.
The aquarium will be keeping some of the clams, which grow up to 60cm long, on display for our visitors. But with a haul of hundreds, homes have needed to be found for the rest.
Luckily the popularity of giant clams means there is already a waiting list of other collections wanting to give them a home.