For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Trumbull, Conn. – A whistleblower has given PETA a damning glimpse into how animals, employees, and the public are being exposed to danger through SeaQuest’s negligent and inhumane practices. The allegations include animals at the facility being regularly deprived of veterinary care, despite obvious health problems, confined to cramped cages for months at a time, and put in direct contact with and injuring visitors. PETA submitted a complaint today to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting that it investigate the operation for what appear to be numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
“SeaQuest has repeatedly shown its inability to provide animals with even the most basic care, keep the public safe, and follow minimal government regulations,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from roadside zoos like this, which put animals and humans in harm’s way for the sake of entertainment.”
The whistleblower reported that two Bengal cats received no treatment for infections for over a month, cockatiels were deprived of food in order to force them to interact with guests, parakeets frequently became “egg bound” (a potentially fatal condition in which eggs become stuck inside a bird) and received little to no veterinary care, and multiple people sustained scratches and bites from animals, including a wallaby, a parrot, and an otter. According to the whistleblower, the facility was also teeming with cockroaches and fruit flies.
The circumstances described in the complaint are just the latest in a years-long pattern of cruelty and neglect by SeaQuest Trumbull that has resulted in a string of USDA citations. Incidents include an employee hitting an otter with a metal bowl, rabbits left without food or water, an otter biting children on multiple occasions, and the accumulation of feces and debris in improperly maintained enclosures.
SeaQuest’s other facilities across the country are no better: Hundreds of animals have died, and the USDA has issued numerous citations for inadequate animal care, improper maintenance, and injuries to the public.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.