LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has fined SeaQuest, an interactive aquarium in Layton, after multiple incidents of the animals biting guests, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

A newly released citation reveals that the agency fined SeaQuest $4,500 for multiple alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including “numerous cases in which animals bit members of the public from 2019 to 2021.”

USDA lists the following incidents at SeaQuest Utah in Layton:

  • An otter bit a customer who was feeding the animal.
  • A South American coati bit a customer and an employee during two separate interactions with the public.
  • A kinkajou bit a customer’s finger.
  • An otter bit a customer who was attempting to hand the animal a toy.

Other SeaQuest locations included in the citation were in Woodbridge, New Jersey, where “a flying squirrel was crushed to death in a door,” and Las Vegas, Nevada, where “an otter was injured when a door fell on the animal’s foot,” PETA states in a press release.

“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,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “The clock is ticking for this seedy and neglectful chain, which faces pressure from PETA for the FTC to investigate.”

ABC4 has reached out to SeaQuest for comment and has not received a response at this time.