Feds Slam SeaQuest Fort Worth for Filthy, Cramped Enclosures


For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Fort Worth, Texas – PETA just obtained two newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection reports revealing that SeaQuest Fort Worth has been cited yet again for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—this time for dirty enclosures, accumulated feces, and a food preparation area in which “the floor did not appear to have been cleaned in a very long time.”

Filthy water in a crowded otter enclosure at SeaQuest Fort Worth.

Filthy water in a crowded otter enclosure at SeaQuest Fort Worth. Credit: PETA

According to a January 4 report, a kinkajou enclosure at the facility wasn’t being cleaned regularly, leading to a buildup of old food. A cramped porcupine and turaco enclosure provided little room for the porcupine to move around and wasn’t being cleaned frequently, making it impossible for the porcupine to avoid his own feces. The enclosure also contained excessive amounts of soggy shavings and had “a large amount” of food and feces stuck to the wall beneath the bird’s food bowl. Four otters were confined to an enclosure designed for two, causing the floor to be constantly wet and predisposing the animals to health issues, including skin infections. The inspector also noted that there were numerous flies throughout multiple animals’ enclosures.

According to an October 5 report, an otter holding area also had accumulated grime on the floor and walls, which “can be a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and allergens,” and the “kitchen/food preparation area was filthy.”

“Disgusting, cramped enclosures and filth are par for the course at SeaQuest’s seedy facilities, where hundreds of vulnerable animals are confined and exploited,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from all SeaQuest locations, which can’t be trusted to keep animals or the public safe.”

SeaQuest Fort Worth has a long and sordid history of animal neglect and death, and the chain’s locations across the U.S. have racked up over 90 citations in the past six years alone for failing to meet bare-minimum federal animal welfare standards. In 2022, SeaQuest Fort Worth was cited following the deaths of five sugar gliders who had fallen into a vertical pipe from which they couldn’t escape. Also at the facility, an otter has died, capybaras have gone missing, an adult capybara has bitten a child, and a sloth has bitten a customer.

The chain’s other locations are no better: 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. Following pressure from PETA and a slew of egregious animal welfare issues and customer injuries, SeaQuest closed its location in Littleton, Colorado, this month and its facilities in Trumbull, Connecticut, and Stonecrest, Georgia, in 2023.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—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.


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