Nearly 200 animals rescued from SeaQuest Littleton find new homes at Denver Zoo and Downtown Aquarium

(Courtesy of Denver Zoo)
Two African pancake tortoises, rehoused from the former SeaQuest Littleton, find their new home at the Denver Zoo.

The Denver Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium have collectively taken in 192 animals from the now-defunct SeaQuest aquarium in Littleton, following the controversial facility’s closure on Feb. 4. 

SeaQuest Littleton received multiple citations, including animal welfare concerns and issues with injured customers since its establishment in 2018. 

Incidents at the site included a sloth being severely burned by a heat lamp, patrons stomping birds to death, and several animals that drowned. There have also been over 40 incidents involving injuries from animal interactions. SeaQuest was also cited and paid fines for illegal animal trafficking. 

Since the Littleton aquarium’s closure, the Denver Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium have monitored, evaluated, and placed the former SeaQuest animals in new homes.

(Courtesy of Denver Zoo)

The zoo said 130 of these animals  – including a keel-billed toucan, red-necked wallabies, African pancake tortoises, a New Guinea blue-tongued skink, and a number of aquatic species – are getting acquainted with their new habitats.

Another 62 aquatic animals, spanning 30 different species, are similarly finding new homes at the aquarium.

The Zoo’s animal care team reports that the animals they have taken in are settling in well and will be on view for the public in the near future.

“We have a number of rescued animals living here at the Zoo, and take the responsibility of bringing in these animals very seriously,” said Bert Vescolani, President and CEO of the Denver Zoo. “We’re fortunate to have the space, resources, and animal health and care expertise to provide the best possible care.”

The Denver Zoo is one of the few institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. AZA accreditation sets certified institutions apart as meeting the highest standards of animal care, veterinary medicine, conservation, and education. The Denver Zoo is one of only 238 institutions in the world with the designation.