10/25/2016 18:01 EDT | Updated 10/26/2017 01:12 EDT

SPCA investigates following death of controversial sturgeon at B.C. mall

VANCOUVER — The B.C. SPCA says it has launched an investigation into the death of a sturgeon that was controversially being kept at a new mega mall in Tsawwassen, B.C.

Spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk says the agency opened a file after the 1.5-metre-long fish, which lived in a giant fresh water tank at a newly-opened sporting goods store, was euthanized.

Bass Pro Shops says in a statement that the sturgeon was euthanized after it was examined by veterinarians, who determined it had "internal complications."

The statement does not say what the complications were, but it does say the condition likely developed before the fish was brought to the store at Tsawasseen Mills outlet mall.

An online petition had previously been created, calling for the fish to be removed from the store.

Chortyk says the SPCA investigates any time it receives a complaint of animal cruelty, and the agency gathers evidence that could be turned over to Crown counsel if it is determined charges could potentially be laid.

(The Canadian Press, CKNW)