State Urged to Investigate Disgraced SeaQuest

PETA Tips Off Officials to Aquarium's History of Animal Deaths, Suspended and Revoked Licenses

For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Woodbridge Township, N.J. – SeaQuest has submitted an application to exhibit numerous animals at a proposed new aquarium and petting zoo at the Woodbridge Center—and in a letter sent this morning to the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, PETA urges officials to confer with agencies in Colorado and Nevada, where SeaQuest permits were either suspended or revoked.

SeaQuest’s license suspension in Colorado came after the company’s Littleton location—where at least 41 people have been injured by animals—racked up eight citations for violations of state laws in just six months, including for failing to report the death of a bird who apparently drowned in a water bowl. SeaQuest’s exotic-animal permit for its Las Vegas location was revoked because the aquarium possessed unpermitted otters and coatimundis. Former employees at that location have alleged that birds were stepped on and killed, turtles were crushed by children, and an octopus died after being boiled alive in a tank. One former staffer even claimed that he saw hundreds of animals die.

PETA also notes that New Jersey is a “no contact” state, meaning that it prohibits the public from feeding or holding regulated animals—and encouraging such contact is the very business model of SeaQuest, an “interactive aquarium.”

“SeaQuest is losing permits left and right, and it should be chased out of any town where it tries to set up shop,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is urging New Jersey officials to take a close look at the risks to animals and to the public that this sleazy petting zoo would bring to the Garden State.”

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. Just last week, following a spirited PETA campaign, the company withdrew its application to open an aquarium inside a shopping mall on Long Island, New York.

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 PETA.org.

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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