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Green monster loose in the World Museum

11 June 2010 by Lisa

Ever wondered what might happen if one of the animals in the museum escaped? To continue our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th anniversary, we have asked Senior Education Manager of sciences, Mike Graham to tell us about one of his memories from working in the Aquarium in the 1970s…


Fish at the aquarium

Some of Mike’s fishy friends from the aquarium

I started in 1972 at the museum in Liverpool when it was the city museum. We had 26 four-foot, cube shaped, aquaria displaying temperate and tropical marine fish, invertebrates and temperate and tropical freshwater fish. We also had a number of displays of snakes lizards, spiders and other invertebrates. It was a brilliant place to work and in those days it was at the cutting edge of aquarium technology. Every day was different with something new to see and experience. We accepted numerous donations from the general public with surprising results.

We were once offered a large green Iguana which had out grown its owner’s home. It’s owner told us that it was about 4.5 foot long – which we assumed was an exaggeration – and when she appeared with a tiny zipped shopping bag, we thought our assumptions were correct. I made the big mistake of opening it in the public gallery to have a quick look and this 4.5 foot monster poked its head and shoulders out of the bag. How she got it in there in the first place was beyond me! It scanned the area in a nonchalant sort of way and then leapt out and scuttled off down the gallery. We had a marble floor and it wasn’t really able to run on this surface, so it made loads of noise which alerted the visitors and of course lead to absolute pandemonium. I rugby tackled it at the end of the corridors and managed to get back into the lab area.

In that job, no two days were the same and you had to expect the unexpected at all times!

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