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New York Aquarium May Evacuate: Hurricane Sandy Power Outage Threatens Coney Island Institution

In this Oct. 15, 2012 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Mitik, an orphaned Pacific walrus calf rescued off
In this Oct. 15, 2012 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Mitik, an orphaned Pacific walrus calf rescued off the coast of Alaska, emerges from his tank at the New York Aquarium in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Mitik suffered from a number of ailments when he was rescued in July but is making progress as he receives round-the-clock care at the aquarium. (AP Photo/Wildlife Conservation Society, Julie Larsen Maher)

The New York Aquarium in Coney Island faces the threat of having to evacuate nearly 12,000 water-dependent animals if power is not restored soon.

Crains New York reports 18 of the aquarium's staff members have been caring for the animals while working to restore filtration. But a spokesperson for the aquarium said they were now at a "very critical period."

The aquarium previously reported Mitik, the recently rescued baby walrus, had survived the storm despite extensive flooding to the facilities.

New York Aquarium Executive Vice President Jim Breheny said in a statement, "As an orphaned calf, he was experiencing some health issues when he came to us as a rescue. “We have been monitoring his condition carefully since his arrival and continued this around-the-clock care throughout the duration of the storm.”

Over the past few days, Hurricane Sandy crippled Coney Island's iconic boardwalk. Numerous reports indicate looting and violence have also broken out.

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