Feds Cite SeaQuest After Kinkajou Scratches Child

For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Trumbull, Conn. – SeaQuest is in hot water again after a kinkajou scratched a young child’s face, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cite the operation for failing to meet even the minimum care standards required by the federal Animal Welfare Act, according to the agency’s just-released inspection report obtained by PETA. The citation follows a string of previous incidents at SeaQuest in Trumbull and at other SeaQuest sites across the country.

“SeaQuest condemns wild animals to a lifetime of frustration, stress, and privation, recklessly risking their safety and that of paying customers,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA is calling on everyone to stay away from SeaQuest’s seedy facilities, which are being found in violation of even basic government regulations.”

The USDA also cited SeaQuest for leaving dangerous splinters of wood in an African crested porcupine’s enclosure and failing to properly clean a filthy wall between two enclosures. Last year, the agency cited the facility after an employee was caught hitting otters with a metal bowl, a guest got into an unlocked capybara enclosure, and a young child was bitten by an otter during public feeding. And in 2019, a 12-year-old was bitten by an otter and the USDA cited the facility for failing to have a written program of veterinary care.

The chain’s other locations are no better: Last year alone, the USDA cited SeaQuest’s Littleton, Colorado, facility after a wallaby drowned, and a child was bitten by an adult capybara and another guest was bitten by a sloth at the Fort Worth, Texas, facility. PETA asked the USDA to terminate SeaQuest’s license to exhibit animals after SeaQuest Littleton pleaded guilty to a criminal charge involving the unlawful purchase of wildlife.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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