Feds Wallop SeaQuest Over Injury to Otter, Frequent Bites to Guests

For Immediate Release:
January 24, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – PETA has just obtained a newly released citation and notification of penalty from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealing that the agency hit SeaQuest with a $4,500 fine for multiple alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The fine addresses a local incident in which an otter was injured when a door fell on the animal’s foot and numerous cases in which animals bit members of the public at a Utah SeaQuest location from 2019 to 2021—most of which are outlined in PETA’s recent complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The USDA also lists an incident in which a door crushed a flying squirrel to death in Woodbridge, New Jersey, along with the following injuries at the Layton, Utah, location:

  • An otter bit a customer who was feeding the animal.
  • A South American coati bit a customer and an employee during two separate interactions with the public.
  • A kinkajou bit a customer’s finger.
  • An otter bit a customer who was attempting to hand the animal a toy.

“People should know that SeaQuest’s history of injuries to animals and the public is horrific and that this shoddy facility deserves to go out of business,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “The clock is ticking for this seedy and neglectful chain, which faces pressure from PETA for the FTC to investigate.”

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 about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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