For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Fort Worth, Texas – Violations of state and federal law have been found at SeaQuest facilities around the country, and PETA has just obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report revealing that the agency slapped SeaQuest Fort Worth with five federal Animal Welfare Act citations in February stemming from a number of issues, including incidents in which guests were bitten by animals. The report also indicates that an otter had somehow died at SeaQuest Fort Worth and that there should have been three capybaras at the facility, per records—but USDA inspectors found only one.
“From missing capybaras to guests who’ve been bitten, SeaQuest cannot be trusted to keep animals or visitors safe,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from SeaQuest’s seedy facilities, which are in trouble from coast to coast.”
SeaQuest Fort Worth has a history of animal welfare issues, and PETA had submitted a formal USDA complaint in January because an otter was seen swimming in endless circles, a sign of psychological distress. In 2019, at least four separate incidents in which guests were injured by an otter prompted the USDA to issue citations to the facility. The agency also issued this facility a “teachable moment” after multiple people were bitten or scratched by capybaras used for interactions.
The chain’s other locations seem no better: At SeaQuest’s Littleton, Colorado, facility, at least 40 people have been injured by animals, and at SeaQuest’s Las Vegas aquarium, an otter drowned after her arm got caught in a pool filtration system. Former employees at the Las Vegas location have claimed that birds were stepped on and killed, turtles were crushed by children, and an octopus died after being boiled alive in a tank.
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 PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.