Kids at Risk: Feds Wallop SeaQuest for ‘Unsafe’ Wallaby Encounter

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Trumbull, Conn.

In the latest blow for SeaQuest’s beleaguered local facility, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited it for having insufficient distance and barriers between an animal and the public, according to the agency’s just-released inspection report obtained by PETA. The citation stems from a PETA complaint documenting that children surrounded and touched a wallaby who was pressed against the side of an enclosure. Two employees were visible but too far away to be able to intervene quickly in case of an emergency.

“This latest citation is yet more proof that SeaQuest specializes in exploiting animals and putting the public at risk,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “It’s a matter of when, not if, this feckless operation will create another dangerous situation, and PETA is urging everyone to stay safe by staying away.”

Earlier this year, a whistleblower alerted PETA to two Bengal cats who didn’t receive treatment for infections for over a month, cockatiels who were deprived of food in order to force them to interact with guests, and multiple people who sustained scratches and bites from animals, including a wallaby, a parrot, and an otter. According to the whistleblower, the facility was also teeming with cockroaches and fruit flies.

SeaQuest Trumbull has received many prior 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 improperly maintained and filled with feces and debris. The chain’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 members of 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 on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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