Report: Trumbull SeaQuest cited again after animal scratches child

Photo of Amanda Cuda
SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium is open in the Westfield Trumbull mall

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium is open in the Westfield Trumbull mall

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

TRUMBULL — A child visitor to the interactive aquarium SeaQuest at the Westfield Trumbull mall was reportedly scratched by a kinkajou, according to a report issued earlier this year by the United States Department of Agriculture.

According to the report, during a routine inspection on Feb. 24, inspector Jan Baltrush noted that, during a recent kinkajou encounter at the facility, a young child was scratched by one of the animals. According to National Geographic, kinkajous are mammals that weigh three to seven pounds, known for hanging from their long tails. They eat fruits and small mammals.

The USDA report states that, at the time of the encounter, a staff member was in the enclosure with two children.

“One child had a bowl of food while the animal sat on the other child’s shoulder,” the report read. “According to the assistant manager, the kinkajou jumped off the child’s shoulder to get to the bowl of food. The animal scratched the face of the young child as it leaped off of his shoulder.”

The report stated that the attack demonstrated that “the animal was not handled in a manner so that there was a minimal risk of harm to the animal or the public. Each animal encounter needs to be conducted in such a way that the animals and the members of the public are safe from harm / injury.”

Other issues pointed out in the report included another one involving the kinkajous. The report stated that the kinkajou enclosure had once been part of an aviary.

“During this inspection it was noted that there was an accumulation of feathers and bird seed between the wood frame and plexiglass,” the report stated. “This area will need to be cleaned and kept clear of any further debris.”

The report also mentioned that the wooden door frame in the African crested porcupine enclosure was damaged and in need of repair.

This is not the first time the Trumbull SeaQuest has been cited. In 2021, the USDA reported multiple violations at the facility, including reports that a child was bitten by an animal and an employee hit an otter with a metal bowl.

Representatives of SeaQuest didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the Westfield Trumbull mall said the they “do not comment on individual tenant matters.”