Otters Smacked, Child Bitten: PETA Uncovers More Violations at SeaQuest

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Trumbull, Conn. – An employee hit otters with a metal bowl, a child was bitten by an otter, and a guest entered an unlocked and unattended capybara enclosure at SeaQuest Trumbull, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report that PETA just obtained.

The agency slapped the “hands-on” aquarium with four federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) citations in March stemming from these and other concerns, which echo similar animal welfare citations found at other SeaQuest locations across the country.

“From hitting animals to allowing a child to be bitten, SeaQuest cannot be trusted to keep animals or visitors safe,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott, Esq. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from SeaQuest’s seedy petting zoos, which are in trouble from Trumbull to Las Vegas.”

In August 2019, a child visiting SeaQuest Trumbull was bitten by an otter, and in July 2019, the USDA cited the operation for failing to have a written program of veterinary care—and other biting incidents at other locations abound. The USDA recently cited SeaQuest Fort Worth in Texas after guests were bitten by a sloth and a capybara; in 2019 and 2020, the agency cited SeaQuest in Layton, Utah, after a coatimundi bit guests and employees; and at SeaQuest’s Littleton, Colorado, facility, at least 40 people have been injured by animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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