SeaQuest fined by USDA after guests bitten by animals in multiple incidents

Jan 24, 2023, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm
(Google Earth Pro)...
(Google Earth Pro)
(Google Earth Pro)

LAYTON, Utah — The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited and fined SeaQuest in Layton, Utah along with other locations for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

According to the citation and notification of penalty, SeaQuest,  “failed to handle animals with minimal risk of harm to the animal and/or the public; and sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animals and the general public as required,” with the following dates and incidents listed.

  • On Aug. 26, 2019, a guest was bitten by an otter while feeding the animal
  • On Oct. 9, 2019, a guest was scratched by a coatimundi. The coatimundi was trying to climb up the leg of the guest who was wearing short pants. The guest received a scratch to her right calf
  • On Nov. 11, 2019, a guest and an employee were bitten by a South American Coati. The guest received skin abrasions.
  • On or about Dec. 27, 2019, during a public interaction, a guest and an employee were bitten by a South American Coati. The guest and employee received skin abrasions.
  • On Sept. 28, 2021, a guest was bitten by a kinkajou causing a puncture wound to the tip of the finger.
  • On or about Nov. 13, 2021, an Asian Small Clawed otter bit the guest when the guest attempted to hand the otter a toy.

 PETA recently filed a complaint about SeaQuest to the Federal Trade Commission for unfair or deceptive trade practices. 

“People should know that SeaQuest’s history of injuries to animals and the public is horrific and that this shoddy facility deserves to go out of business,” PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott said. “The clock is ticking for this seedy and neglectful chain, which faces pressure from PETA for the FTC to investigate.”

Other SeaQuest locations included in the citation and notification of penalty were those in Woodbridge, New Jersey, where a flying squirrel was crushed to death in a door, and Las Vegas, where an otter was injured when a door fell on the animal’s foot.

 KSL TV has reached out to SeaQuest for comment but did not hear back by publication.


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SeaQuest fined by USDA after guests bitten by animals in multiple incidents