LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Another setback for SeaQuest as the aquarium decides to scrap plans to expand in New York.
For seven months, animal welfare advocates have been fighting to prevent a new SeaQuest location from opening. And this week, their efforts paid off as SeaQuest withdrew its application to open an aquarium in a Long Island mall.
As 13 Investigates first reported in February, Actor Alec Baldwin penned an impassioned plea on behalf of PETA to the Oyster Bay town board in Massapequa. The letter urged officials to block SeaQuest from opening on Long Island, citing a long history of animal neglect allegations at the company's other locations across the country, including here in Las Vegas.
Protests and testimony bolstered Baldwin's plea at town board meetings, and the project was halted before it got off the ground.
Tuesday, the Humane Long Island organization released the following statement:
“Thanks to PETA and LION, hundreds of animals will be spared neglect and death at the hands of this shady aquarium and petting zoo in Oyster Bay. SeaQuest saw the writing on the wall and withdrew its permit application instead of sharing its appalling and constantly growing rap sheet of state and local animal abuse citations with city officials.”
SeaQuest also released the following:
"We were tremendously excited to open an outpost on Long Island to bring the SeaQuest experience to residents here," said SeaQuest CEO Vince Covino. "Unfortunately the length of the process to approve the project began to make the reality of executing this location, along with the multiple other SeaQuest installations currently being developed, unrealistic for our team. We're sorry it didn't work out at the Sunrise Mall, and we hope to explore other venues in the region and will announce these plans at a later date."