The Vista Voice

SeaQuest and Animal Neglect

Natalie Williams, Staff Writer

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Animal neglect is a major problem in the United States, so why would anyone support a company accused of it?

SeaQuest is advertised as an interactive aquarium that is coming to Palladio on Broadstone this fall. Here, you can snorkel with stingrays, explore exhibits from around the world, and watch hundreds of species on display.

However, this corporation is associated with several controversial accusations. In 2016, a former employee at the Las Vegas location accused SeaQuest of staff constantly fluctuating the pH levels of the aquarium tanks. Fox 5 in Las Vegas wrote, “…leading to the deaths of dozens of animals, including but not limited to ‘an entire tank of eels’ and ‘eleven stingrays in one night.’” A former employee claims the aquarium sustained many animal deaths before the location even opened to the public.

The concerns went beyond Las Vegas. OregonLive.com claims that 200 animals died in at the Portland aquarium run by the SeaQuest CEO, Vince Covino, after the publication requested the death-log. That aquarium is now closed. Then again in 2016, Covino’s brother, Ammon Covino, served eight months in federal prison in 2013 for illegally harvesting fish for their aquarium in Boise, Idaho.

Not all members of the Folsom community are excited to see the new aquarium in town.“I think our community deserves better than to have a place that has been cruel to animals; it doesn’t represent us well,” said Hannah Karsting, an advocate for anti-animal violence. Miranda Ayad, the AP Environmental Science teacher at Vista Del Lago, had a strong opinion on this issue also. “It seems like the people who are owning this company don’t necessarily have the best practices from what I can tell,” said Ayad. “I understand the idea behind it, but it seems like maybe this company has shown in the past that they don’t use the best practices.”

An aquarium coming to Folsom will be an exciting addition to the Palladio and create new jobs, but will it come at a high cost for wildlife?

 

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SeaQuest and Animal Neglect