Protesters on Saturday gathered outside a new Las Vegas aquarium alleging that animals inside were being abused.
Vince Covino is founder and CEO of Seaquest Interactive Aquarium, which also has a new aquarium in Layton, Utah, and one under construction in Fort Worth, Texas.
Saturday’s protest followed allegations from an ex-party planner of the Las Vegas aquarium who said animals are being mistreated, KTNV-TV reported.
Protesters also took issue with Covino and his brother of Ammon Covino, who co-founded and operated the Idaho Aquarium in Boise, which is now run by a nonprofit and has been renamed the Aquarium of Boise and is no longer associated with any Covinos. Ammon Covino was imprisoned in 2013 for conspiring with a fellow Idaho Aquarium co-founder to bring illegally harvested spotted rays and lemon sharks from Florida to Boise for display.
KTNV called Vince Covino and asked if his brother was involved with the aquarium in Las Vegas. Covino referred the query to Alui Hernandez, a corporate spokesperson, who said Ammon Covino has no affiliation with SeaQuest.
She, too, denied Stansell’s allegations that animals are being mistreated.
“These allegations are false and made by disgruntled employees,” Hernandez told KNTV. “We take great pride in the way we take care of our animals at SeaQuest.”
Hernandez would not say if any animals have died since the aquarium opened last year.