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Las Vegas aquarium under fire after ex-employee alleges animal neglect

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-15 21:53:48-04

A popular aquarium is under fire after an ex-employee alleged that animals at the facility are being mistreated.

Protesters gathered outside SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium at the Boulevard Mall Saturday alleging that animals inside the facility were not being cared for properly. 

The allegations were raised by ex-employee Chris Stansell. 

"I quit because in my time here I've seen a number of different things that I thought were morally unjust and wrong," said Stansell, who worked for the company for five months. 

Stansell claims he watched some animals die while he worked for the company. 

Protesters also took issue with the CEO of the company, Vince Covino. 

Management confirmed Covino is the brother of Ammon Covino. Ammon Covino was indicted in 2012 for conspiring to bring illegally harvested lemon sharks and spotted eagle rays to an aquarium in Boise, Idaho. 

13 Action News called Vince Covino and asked if his brother was involved with the facility in Las Vegas. He referred us to Alui Hernandez, a corporate spokesperson.

Hernandez said Ammon Covino has no affiliation with SeaQuest. She also denied Stansell's allegations that animals are being mistreated. 

"These allegations are false and made by disgruntled employees," Hernandez said. "We take great pride in the way we take care of our animals at SeaQuest."

Hernandez would not answer if any animals have died since the Las Vegas location opened in 2016.