13 Investigates


No more sloths allowed at SeaQuest after second animal death in less than a year

Baby sloth_2.jpg
Posted at 6:59 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 21:59:53-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — No more sloths at SeaQuest.

Clark County Animal Control is taking swift action after two of the slow-moving mammals died at the local attraction within a nine-month period.

Newly released documents show a 2-year-old male two-toed sloth named Flash died in April after only five months at SeaQuest in the Boulevard Mall.

That’s the second sloth—both named Flash—to die there.

As 13 Investigates reported, the first sloth died on July 30, 2020, following a history of weakness, twitching and a lack of appetite.

The necropsy report provided by PETA shows the second sloth died in April of this year after exhibiting similar symptoms.

PETA now also asking federal authorities to crack down on the Boulevard Mall petting zoo for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

“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 animal welfare organization sent a letter to Clark County Animal Control asking the agency to deny any future requests from SeaQuest Las Vegas to acquire and possess members of the species.

In a statement to 13 Investigates, Clark County Animal Control said:

“On April 8, 2021, SeaQuest notified us that a sloth at their facility passed away. We conducted an investigation, and a necropsy was done at SeaQuest’s expense. Neither showed any evidence of wrongdoing or negligence. However, as this was the second death of a sloth at the facility, we cannot foresee granting SeaQuest permission for another sloth should they apply to have one.”

Kelly Bistriceanu, SeaQuest's national director of marketing, also sent a statement:

"We are sad to announce the passing of our beloved two-toed sloth. Flash was with his primary caretakers when he passed. He had been experiencing deteriorating health, which the veterinarian and animal husbandry teams had been closely monitoring and treating around the clock.

"Our veterinarian and an independent pathologist carefully assessed the cause of death. A complete necropsy workup was performed. No reports beyond natural causes found any signs to indicate a cause of death that could have possibly been prevented. SeaQuest continues to maintain full cooperation and compliance with Clark County Animal Control and the United States Department of Agriculture.

"Flash will be remembered for being a remarkable animal who brought thousands of smiles to the faces of SeaQuest Las Vegas guests. Flash was one of 12 sloths in the SeaQuest family, and he will be sorely missed by the entire animal husbandry team as well as all of our guests."

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