Online petition created to stop SeaQuest from coming to Lynchburg

More than 500 people have signed petition

LYNCHBURG, Va. – "Stop SeaQuest in Lynchburg" is the name of a new online petition.

Just last week, we told you SeaQuest is coming to Lynchburg this summer.

Elizabeth Russell created the petition when the announcement came out after hearing about the exhibits' alleged violations and animal abuse.

More than 500 people have signed the petition.

“(The) goal is to mainly, is to hopefully stop the opening of SeaQuest, but also to educate the community about the cost of this fun and entertainment at the expense of animals,” Russell said.

SeaQuest still plans to open this summer at River Ridge Mall.

Russell said they will protest if they need to. 

SeaQuest released a statement to 10 News on March 13 when we questioned them about the allegations. They said:

"Recent news stories have brought to light inaccurate and misleading information about SeaQuest. We want to assure families in central Virginia that SeaQuest is committed to provide a fun, educational and safe interactive experience for everybody.

"Our facilities are staffed by team members from the local community, all of whom must love animals to qualify for the job, and many of whom have zoological and biological experience. In addition, we have a clear set of Standard Operating Procedures for all aspects of our facilities, including very specific animal care, handling, and interaction guidelines.

"Injuries at SeaQuest facilities are extremely uncommon, tend to be minor scratches and nips, and affect less than 1 in 10,000. For the safety of the animals and our guests, we have team members providing instructions, as well as interaction videos to show guests how to best interact with our SeaQuest Friends."