For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Las Vegas – Today on International Sloth Day, which notorious shopping mall petting zoo SeaQuest has used to push “encounters” with the slow-moving mammals, newly released records reveal that a sloth named Flash has died—just nine months after another sloth named Flash died under similar circumstances—at SeaQuest Las Vegas. This morning, PETA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting an investigation into the second sloth’s death and a letter to Clark County Animal Control requesting that the agency deny any future requests from SeaQuest Las Vegas to acquire and possess members of the species.
“When one sloth died at SeaQuest, the company simply got another, gave him the same name, and let him suffer the same fate,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “SeaQuest treats sloths like swappable stock, and PETA wants federal and Clark County officials to crack down on this company before more sloths die there.”
The second Flash had only been at SeaQuest Las Vegas for five months before he died. The necropsy documented that he had been found “minimally responsive on the floor” and had “developed twitching behavior” and lack of appetite—similar symptoms to those displayed by the first Flash, who died just seven months after his arrival at SeaQuest. And other sloths named Flash have suffered at other SeaQuest sites across the country. At SeaQuest Littleton in Colorado, one Flash was severely burned by a heat lamp on two separate occasions, and at SeaQuest Woodbridge in New Jersey, allegations have surfaced that a Flash there died and was quietly replaced with another. In Texas, the USDA cited SeaQuest Fort Worth for keeping a sloth in an inappropriate enclosure with sheetrock walls and rubber trim peeling away to reveal a “stained and dirty” area beneath the exhibit.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.