Grand total: N.C. aquarium finds $8,500+ in wishing coins to help care for animals

Grand total: N.C. aquarium finds $8,500+ in wishing coins to help care for animals
Grand total: N.C. aquarium finds $8,500+ in wishing coins to help care for animals(NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores)
Updated: Aug. 21, 2020 at 9:01 PM EDT
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PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WBTV) - A North Carolina aquarium tallied up 14 years of wishing coins that were tossed into its waterfall.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores said it’s transforming the forgotten change into cold, hard cash, and using it to care for its animals.

The aquarium has been closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During that time, the public aquarium said in a Facebook post that its staff turned off its 30-foot-tall “Smoky Mountain” waterfall and rounded up all of the change visitors had tossed in.

On Friday, the aquarium said it counted a grand total of $8,563.71.

In a Facebook post, the aquarium said staff spent days cleaning, sorting and sifting through all of the change.

Then, it took about 10 hours sending the change through the bank’s coin counter.

And the grand total is $8,563.71. We severely underestimated how long it would take to clean, sort, and sift through all...

Posted by NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, August 21, 2020

That final amount will all go toward helping animals helped and rehabbed at the facility.

The aquarium also had a guessing contest seeing who could come close.

One person – Amy Campbell – guesses just $1 dollar short. She guessed $8,562.

The aquarium, along with the other state-operated North Carolina Aquarium locations, has been temporarily closed to the public since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the North Carolina Aquariums website.

At the time the aquariums said essential staff would "remain on-site to care for thousands of animals in aquarium care" at its various locations. Additional staff would work onsite and at home to "ensure the Aquarium will be ready to re-open and welcome guests back once this critical situation has subsided."

North Carolina remains in “Safer at Home Phase 2” after the phase was extended earlier this month until at least September 11. At the earliest, the aquariums said locations could re-open to the public at some point after that date, when the state moves on to Phase 3. But it emphasized that “no date has yet been set.”

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