Feds Cite SeaQuest After PETA Reports Wallaby Lunged at Child’s Face

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2023

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – After PETA alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to a Facebook video showing a wallaby lunging at a child’s face at SeaQuest Las Vegas, a newly released report reveals that the agency cited the beleaguered facility over the incident, noting that “there was not sufficient distance or a barrier between the animal and the child to prevent potential injury.” During a feeding encounter, the wallaby jumped on a young boy who was trying to feed him. According to the USDA, the incident went unreported by SeaQuest staff.

Visitors at SeaQuest Las Vegas touch wallabies in a public encounter.

Visitors at SeaQuest Las Vegas touch wallabies in a public encounter.

“A wallaby who was likely distressed by SeaQuest’s day-in, day-out public encounters lunged at a child’s face, which was predictable and preventable,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “This incident underscores just how dangerous it is for SeaQuest to allow contact with wild animals—and PETA is urging people to stay away and the USDA to terminate its license.”

PETA notes that SeaQuest Las Vegas has a history of injuries, including to children. A mother reported on Yelp that her son’s face and eye were scratched by a coatimundi and that an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital, a kinkajou bit an employee, and a small-clawed otter bit an employee during a presentation.

Earlier this month, the chain’s operation in Trumbull, Connecticut, shuttered following numerous complaints from PETA and after it had racked up multiple USDA citations, including for incidents in which a staffer hit an otter with a metal bowl, rabbits were left without food or water, an otter bit a child, and enclosures were filled with feces and debris. PETA wants the chain’s other locations—including the one in Las Vegas—to follow suit.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, 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