Reports of animal abuse, deaths linger over aquarium opening at New Jersey mall

Posted: Updated:
WOODBRIDGE -

An aquarium will open this fall at the Woodbridge Center Mall, but not without some controversy, including reports of animals dying and failed inspections.

The aquarium is called SeaQuest, and reports suggest it will be opening in the mall later this year.

But the company is facing criticism in some of its other nine locations across the U.S.

In Las Vegas, a former employee told the local newspaper hundreds of animals died while the site was opening.

According to news reports, in Colorado, the location there failed two animal safety inspections by the state.

Nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition in Virginia, accusing SeaQuest of animal abuse and exploitation.

The aquarium promises a fall opening, but did not specify a month yet.

Woodbridge Center Mall responded, saying, "SeaQuest will be a fun addition to our shopping center and the response thus far from our community has been positive and filled with excitement. Furthermore, through their philanthropic platform, they will be actively involved in our community and provide educational opportunities."

The company operates at least nine small aquariums across the country, with locations in Las Vegas, Colorado, Utah and Florida.

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