Grand Protest to Hit SeaQuest’s Grand Opening in Lynchburg

PETA Will Urge People to Steer Clear of Cruel, Dysfunctional Aquarium

For Immediate Release:
October 17, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lynchburg, Va. – Armed with signs proclaiming, “Say No to SeaQuest,” PETA protesters will be on the scene for SeaQuest’s grand opening at the Ridge River Mall on Friday to show the notorious aquarium and petting zoo chain just how much it’s (not) wanted in Lynchburg.

When:    Friday, October 18, 9 a.m.

Where:    Outside the Ridge River Mall (on the sidewalk in front of Cook Out on Wards Road, a block south of the Lynchburg Expressway), Lynchburg

Former SeaQuest employees have come forward with allegations of appalling neglect and abuse at the chain’s locations, including that animals were reportedly starved and routinely denied veterinary care. One former staffer alleges that at least 300 animals died at SeaQuest Las Vegas, which was cited and fined $2,000 earlier this year for illegally possessing four baby otters. Officials suspended SeaQuest Colorado’s state permit after a series of state law and permit violations, including an incident in November 2018 in which a sloth sustained serious burns to his face from a heat lamp. And at SeaQuest’s Folsom, California, location, a visitor reportedly found a dead stingray in a tank, and children were still touching the animal’s lifeless body.

“Seaquest has left a trail of animal suffering everywhere it has opened its doors,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the kind people of Lynchburg to avoid this cruel, sleazy operation at all costs.”

Just last month, PETA filed a request urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to terminate SeaQuest’s federal Animal Welfare Act exhibitor license—or, at the very least, to refuse to approve the addition of its proposed new locations.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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