Criminal Charges Sought Over Reported Animal Neglect at SeaQuest

PETA Calls For Immediate Investigation After Visitors Describe Dead Animals Found in Tanks, Fish Suffocating on the Floor

For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Folsom, Calif. – This morning, PETA sent a letter requesting that the City of Folsom Animal Services investigate SeaQuest—which just opened an aquarium in the city in November—for numerous apparent violations of Folsom’s animal services ordinance, which requires that all animals be provided with “veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering” and “humane care and treatment … at all times.”

In the letter, PETA points to several instances of neglect and inhumane treatment of animals reported by eyewitnesses at the aquarium in December and January. Video footage taken by a visitor shows a fish who’d jumped from his or her tank likely suffocating on the ground for up to two minutes before a staff member finally placed the animal back in the tank. In addition, a dead eel and a dead, decomposing stingray were reportedly found in the tanks—and fish whose breathing appeared rapid and strained were floating motionless in a cloudy tank.

“Animals are in danger every minute they’re imprisoned at SeaQuest in the custody of inexperienced workers and repeatedly grabbed and poked at by visitors,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on authorities to investigate these alarming claims and, if warranted, throw the book at this cruel, sleazy operation.”

One former employee alleges that at least 300 animals died at the SeaQuest location in Las Vegas. The company’s aquarium in Littleton, Colorado, was hit with a cease and desist order last year for operating without a permit. In November, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—protested the opening of the SeaQuest location in Folsom, and in October, actor Alec Baldwin sent a letter on PETA’s behalf urging his hometown of Massapequa, New York, not to allow the company to open an aquarium there.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind