Feds Cite SeaQuest for Dangerous Public Handling of Otter—Again!

Aquarium Chain Endangering Animals and the Public With Reckless Interactions, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7381

Fort Worth, Texas – PETA has just obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report revealing that SeaQuest Fort Worth was cited a second time this year—the first time was in February, and this one was in June—for allowing members of the public to come into contact with an Asian small-clawed otter, named Xander, without an adequate barrier in place, resulting in at least four incidents in which visitors sustained wounds in 2019 alone.

“This exploitative exhibitor either can’t or won’t provide the animals in its nasty little exhibits with proper care,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is urging people to avoid SeaQuest or risk being injured by stressed wild animals who lash out in fear.”

At SeaQuest’s Littleton, Colorado, location, at least 45 people—including a visitor who reportedly sustained a serious hand laceration from being bitten by a monitor lizard—have been injured by animals. SeaQuest’s Las Vegas aquarium was cited and fined $2,000 for having unpermitted animals—including otter pups who were the result of illegal breeding—and an otter died there after her arm got caught in a filtration system in the enclosure. Former employees at that location have also claimed that birds were stepped on and killed, turtles were crushed by children, and an octopus died after being boiled alive in a tank.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that the USDA also issued the Fort Worth facility a “teachable moment” last year after multiple people sustained bite and scratch wounds by capybaras used for interactions.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist view that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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