Massive fish fondly followed Kate

Kate in the aquariumKate in the aquariumA 70 pound grouper, fondly named Darth Vader, took a shine to a Bangor University student over the summer.

Kate Cooper, 18, from Pembroke, Bermuda, volunteered at the Bermuda Aquarium during her summer vacation. The massive fish seemed to be very fond of Kate, following her around like a puppy as she cleaned the inside of the glass in the fish tanks.

Kate, who is studying zoology and conservation at the School of Biological Sciences, worked at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) after winning the Ernest E. Stempel internship. She also took part in the Bermuda Turtle Project, helping to tag turtles to track their movements around the ocean.

The former Bermuda High School for Girls pupil has also taken part in the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS) and Audubon Society residential natural history course on Nonsuch Island and after being given the Mervyn White Memorial Award for academic excellence, helped the run course last year.

She said: “BAMZ and BZS have given me so many opKate feeding and training the seals at the aquariumKate feeding and training the seals at the aquariumportunities over the past five years. I’ve had hands-on experience in the field and many opportunities to talk to leading scientists.

“Without the support and help from BAMZ and BZS, I may not have the same interest that I do now. I am very grateful for the scholarship and the experiences provided to me and I feel it will help me return to Bermuda and hopefully help inspire the next generation.”

The huge fish is named after the sinister villain of the Star Wars series of films.

Publication date: 30 October 2012