Feds Cite SeaQuest for Endangering Sloths

For Immediate Release:
June 21, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Folsom, Calif.

SeaQuest has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for jeopardizing the health and welfare of sloths by failing to provide the correct temperature and humidity in their enclosures—a drop in temperature and humidity can lead to multiple health issues, including disrupting sloths’ digestion and causing them to starve to death—according to a just-released inspection report obtained by PETA. The notorious roadside aquarium chain, owned by Vince Covino, was recently slapped with a $4,500 fine over numerous cases in which animals bit members of the public and an incident in which a door crushed a flying squirrel to death.

“Animals are in danger every minute they’re imprisoned at SeaQuest and at the mercy of animal exploiters who fail to give them even the most basic care,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges everyone to steer clear of this seedy chain, where animals suffer for the sake of human entertainment and the only thing that runs wild is neglect.”

During the USDA inspection of SeaQuest Folsom on May 1, the humidity in each sloth enclosure ranged from 46% to 55%, even though sloths require 60% to 80% humidity to keep them hydrated and to help regulate their body temperature. The inspector noted that SeaQuest staff had recorded the temperature and humidity as not within the correct range almost two weeks before the federal inspection but failed to fix the problem.

The recent animal welfare failings by SeaQuest Folsom are just the latest in a years-long pattern of neglect by the aquarium that has resulted in a string of USDA citations. Incidents include failing to maintain the safety and sanitation of the Bengal cat enclosure, failing to keep adequate records of the animals, and having excessive flies throughout the facility, which poses a risk of disease to the animals.

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, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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