SeaQuest CEO breaks silence regarding abuse allegations - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

SeaQuest CEO breaks silence regarding abuse allegations

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SeaQuest's CEO responded to allegations of mistreatment. (FOX5) SeaQuest's CEO responded to allegations of mistreatment. (FOX5)

The CEO of SeaQuest responded to allegations of animal abuse at the company's newest aquarium.

"It's a false story," CEO Vince Covino said. "That never happened." 

The claims came from ex-employee Chris Stansell who quit after he said more than 200 animals died at the aquarium. 

Stansell's allegations prompted an animal activist group to organize a protest against Covino and his aquarium Saturday. 

Covino gave FOX5 a tour of the facility Tuesday and agreed to answer questions regarding the allegations.

Covino admitted that there was mold in the filtration room. 

"It's been taken care of," Covino said. 

Covino would not go into specifics to address claims that multiple octopuses died since the site's opening. He also called Stansell "disgruntled." 

"We have a birthday party coordinator that's telling the press fabricated stories about the animal husbandry (department) that are not true," Covino said. 

This is not the first time Covino received criticism related to an aquarium. 

In 2013, protesters in Oregon accused Covino's Portland aquarium of killing more than 200 animals. That aquarium closed in 2016.

Clark County said it received three complaints for SeaQuest since it opened in Dec., but never issued a citation.

Metro's animal cruelty unit also responded to SeaQuest several weeks ago and issued minor infractions. A spokesperson with Metro said the violations were immediately corrected. 

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