A vacant Kmart in Grand Forks, North Dakota was dangerously close to being turned into a SeaQuest aquarium and petting zoo, but then PETA stepped in! In his offer of $ 1 million in taxpayer money to build another horror pet store, SeaQuest CEO Vince Covino made numerous clearly false statements to Grand Forks City Council, including about his ties to convicted wildlife trafficker. PETA therefore urged North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to look into the facts, and we have called for an investigation into the apparent violations of North Dakota law on illegal sales or advertising practices. Now, just days after sending our letter, Covino has conveniently decided to “pastOn the Grand Forks location.
SeaQuest to ‘pass’ Grand Forks location, CEO says https://t.co/MiokdmAdH0
– Grand Forks Herald (@gfherald) November 13, 2021
In our letter to Stenehjem, we highlighted several of Covino’s false and misleading claims, including the following:
- Although Covino states that SeaQuest is the fastest growing pediatric aquarium / zoo company “in the history of the world”, in part because it “has been successful in complying with regulations,” the company has been struck by quotes from human and animal injuries. death, a fine for possession of unauthorized animals, a license suspension and a lawsuit for unpaid taxes.
- As Covino tried to distance himself from his brother, Ammon, a convicted wildlife trafficker, the indictment against Ammon describes his attempt to acquire sharks for an aquarium he was building with Vince. Ammon was also arrested and jailed for violating his parole restrictions by working on the construction and procurement of animals for two SeaQuest facilities.
Did you know? #SeaQuest traps sharks in malls!
– PETA (@peta) August 14, 2020
- Vince Covino called an incident in which a child was bitten by an otter at the SeaQuest site in Connecticut as “nothing as a bandage would not fix it immediately”, but otter bites carry a risk of rabies infection – and the bite occurred just two weeks after resuming interactions with otters after a six-month state-imposed rabies quarantine because another child had been bitten.
- Records show that SeaQuest Las Vegas secretly replaced a dead otter with another animal, in violation of its county license. This unauthorized female otter was placed with a male otter, although the license from SeaQuest strictly prohibited breeding, and she got pregnant a month after arriving. Contrary to Covino’s claims, this otter did not arrive at SeaQuest pregnant.
- While Covino claims that SeaQuest has received funding “in every city” and that a million dollars “would be the smallest amount of funding” he has ever received, only Layton, in Utah, appears to have given any funding. public funds to SeaQuest – and only $ 40,000.
Luckily, Covino decided to walk away instead of continuing his attempt to scam Grand Forks taxpayers out of a million dollars. And while the disreputable CEO claims that other unidentified cities “want and need”SeaQuest, PETA stands ready, ready to inform municipalities of its deceptive conduct as well as the trail of dead animals, injured customers and the controversy SeaQuest aquariums have left. As we continue to do everything possible to prevent new monstrosities from appearing, you can defend these animals as well: Click below to urge SeaQuest to stop exploiting animals and to share your disappointment with the properties that have supported the famous company:
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