SeaQuest License Suspended After Repeated Animal-Welfare Violations

Aquarium Loses State Permit Following Illegal Importation, Failure to Report Injuries and Death, Other Violations

For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Littleton, Colo

PETA has just obtained records revealing that last month, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife suspended SeaQuest‘s state Zoological Parks License—which permitted the notorious aquarium and petting-zoo chain to possess a number of regulated species, including two-toed sloths, capybaras, and Asian small-clawed otters—for two years.

The suspension comes after SeaQuest’s Littleton location racked up eight citations for violations of state laws in just six months, including for unlawfully importing a sloth without the required permit. The facility was also cited for failing to report the death of a bird who apparently drowned in a water bowl and injuries to a sloth who was burned multiple times by the heat lamp in the enclosure holding the animal. Not long after this license suspension, SeaQuest’s exotic-animal permit for its Las Vegas location was also revoked because the aquarium possessed unpermitted otters and coatimundis. PETA—along with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and a local activist—is suing the city of Fort Lauderdale to challenge its issuance of a zoning permit for a proposed new SeaQuest aquarium there.

“Thanks to Colorado Parks and Wildlife authorities’ intervention, sloths, capybaras, and other species are safe from SeaQuest in Littleton for the immediate future,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “Every action that blocks SeaQuest from endangering animals and visitors helps move PETA one step closer to shutting this cruel, sleazy operation down.”

During SeaQuest’s license-review proceeding, PETA submitted a statement of concern to Colorado authorities urging them to suspend the facility’s license based on the more than 40 reported human injuries at that location. In the statement, PETA referenced three instances in which guests were bitten by puffer fish, noting that SeaQuest staff failed to show an understanding of the severity of the risk associated with interacting with puffer fish, who can secrete a potent neurotoxin that can cause numbness, difficulty breathing, and, in some cases, death.

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

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