A rendering of the proposed interactive wildlife facilities in Westfield...

A rendering of the proposed interactive wildlife facilities in Westfield Sunrise Mall in Massapequa. Credit: SeaQuest Holdings

I was shocked to read that Oyster Bay might allow SeaQuest into Westfield Sunrise Mall in Massapequa [“Mall-based interactive aquarium may draw crowds and activists’ concerns,” News, Oct. 10].

At SeaQuest founder Vince Covino’s failed Portland Aquarium in Oregon, more than 200 animals reportedly died in spring 2013 from starvation, infection, high temperatures, and other seemingly preventable causes, according to the Portland Oregonian. A former veterinarian for the facility told the newspaper that animals weren’t quarantined properly and emergency treatment was routinely delayed to save money.

Last year, a former employee came forward with reports of apparent animal neglect at SeaQuest in Las Vegas, saying he saw hundreds of animals die. Another employee alleged that animals weren’t fed properly.

A SeaQuest aquarium in Littleton, Colorado, failed three state inspections and in July was ordered to shut down an interactive aviary, according to KDVR-TV of Denver. The inspectors called the bird exhibit “potentially dangerous” to the birds on exhibit.

People don’t learn how animals thrive in their natural habitats when they visit SeaQuest. They see only how miserable life is for the creatures confined there.

We should ban the exploitation of animals, not grant exemptions for it.

Juliana Di Leonardo, Malverne

Editor’s note: The writer is vice president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, an advocacy organization.