For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2024
David Perle 202-483-7382
Littleton, Colo. – After PETA filed numerous formal complaints with federal and state authorities detailing egregious animal welfare issues and many injuries to customers at SeaQuest, the notorious shopping mall petting zoo announced that it’s permanently shutting down its Littleton location.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued SeaQuest Littleton a critical citation and an official warning after half the tail of a sugar glider named Luna had to be amputated because it had become entangled in a piece of chain in her enclosure. In 2022, PETA called for the termination of SeaQuest Littleton’s USDA license after the facility pleaded guilty to illegally purchasing a snapping turtle, who was stolen from his home in the wild. That same year, Jefferson County Animal Control issued the facility a warning for keeping fish in dirty tanks and not providing red-footed tortoises with access to UVB lighting, which is critical to their well-being. And in 2021, the USDA cited the facility after a wallaby was unable to escape from an aquarium tank and drowned.
A sloth hangs behind a wire fence at SeaQuest Littleton. Credit: PETA
“This seedy facility will no longer exploit vulnerable animals, confine them to dangerous enclosures that have injured and killed them, and endanger the public,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA is calling for the remaining animals to be transferred to reputable facilities and urges everyone to stay away from places like SeaQuest, which fail to give animals even basic care.”
In December 2022, PETA submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission requesting that the agency investigate SeaQuest after members of the public were bitten and injured, including a guest who called 911 to report numbness and difficulty breathing after being bitten by a pufferfish, whose secretions contain a potent poison. Additionally, the USDA issued SeaQuest Littleton a critical citation after a Savannah cat bit a customer, resulting in three cats being quarantined for six months.
The chain’s locations across the country have similar histories: Hundreds of animals have died at SeaQuest facilities or in transit, and the USDA has issued numerous citations for inadequate animal care, improper maintenance, and injuries to members of the public. PETA has stopped SeaQuest from opening in three states (Florida, New York, and North Dakota), and SeaQuest facilities in Trumbull, Connecticut, and Stonecrest, Georgia, both closed following pressure from the group. With the closure of the Colorado facility, SeaQuest has seven operations remaining.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.