New York Lost Some Very Valuable Mice to Sandy, But Not Its Favorite Walrus

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Hurricane Sandy was unkind to some of this city's most interesting animals, including thousands of genetically modified mice that died in a flood at NYU. But thanks to a soaking-wet all-nighter by the Coney Island Aquarium staff, Mitik the baby walrus is doing just fine. The New York World confirmed that the care of the adorable, mustachioed, 236-pound baby refugee from Alaska wasn't interrupted when the fourteen-acre aquarium flooded overnight. The NYU mice were not so lucky. They, along with a cargo of sensitive reagents including "special enzymes, antibodies, DNA strands," were lost when a flood hit NYU Hospital's Smilow building on East 32nd Street, the Daily News reports. "It is unclear how the mice died, but the source told the News that many of these mice are genetically modified for certain research and took years to produce. It will likely set back several scientists' work by years, the source said." Sad for the animals and the years of research they represent.