ALDF, PETA Appeal Court’s Dismissal of Lawsuit Seeking Lolita’s Freedom

Posted on May 30, 2012

Case Against Government for Excluding Captive Orca From Endangered Species Act Protections Goes to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Sign the petition!Miami — The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and PETA have appealed the recent dismissal of the groups’ lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for wrongly excluding orca Lolita from the endangered listing of the Pacific Northwest’s southern resident orcas. The exclusion has allowed the Miami Seaquarium to hold Lolita alone in captivity in a tiny concrete tank for more than 40 years with impunity despite Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibitions against harming and harassing southern resident orcas. The case’s dismissal was based solely on the timing of the filing of the lawsuit–in their federal appeal, ALDF and PETA contend that the government received the required notice of intent to sue and that the case was wrongfully dismissed.

"It is deplorable for the government to exclude Lolita from the protections granted to southern resident orcas solely because a theme park tore her away from her family four decades ago," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. "PETA and ALDF will continue to push for Lolita to finally have her day in court and the freedom she deserves."

"Because the government has not granted Lolita the protections she is rightfully due, she suffers each day in a small tank equivalent to a human confined to a bathtub her entire life," says Carter Dillard, ALDF’s director of litigation. "The American public is sick and tired of legal loopholes designed to allow companies such as the Seaquarium to profit at the expense of animals like Lolita and the people who care about her well-being."

The groups’ lawsuit calls for Lolita to be included in the endangered listing, which could include release into a seaside sanctuary in her home waters and, if possible, back into her family pod. In the wild, female orcas spend their entire lives with their mothers, and Lolita’s mother is still thriving at more than 80 years of age. Orcas naturally swim up to 100 miles a day with their families. Lolita currently swims in endless circles alone in the smallest orca tank in North America, where she is forced to perform meaningless tricks for Seaquarium’s profit–an estimated tens of millions of dollars.

3 thoughts on “ALDF, PETA Appeal Court’s Dismissal of Lawsuit Seeking Lolita’s Freedom

  1. Marguerite Hamilton says:

    It is utterly deplorable to keep in captivity all these years, an animal that thrives on familly life…taking away her freedom for the sake of entertianment, STINKS. Not now, in this era when we are supposed to be more enlightened about the emotional status of such wonferful creatures. For goodness sake get YOUR act together and get this animal out where she is supposed to live…Talk about “Free Wiily”!…….
    Marguerite Hamilton

  2. Jenni says:

    It’s interesting that PETA and ALDF are collaborating being that some of PETA’s techniques and positions could be seen as detrimental to ALDF’s strategies. Glad to see that welfare organizations are working together for a good cause even if we may differ in some of our beliefs and tactics.

  3. Dr. Georgie says:

    Well, that is the game we play on this earth for the phoney paper money printed up by the federal reserve. EVERYTHING on this earth is “exploited, enslaved, imprisoned, gutted,(copper mine, diamond mine etc.) raped and mass murdered” et. for our PLEASURE AND COMFORT, NOT SURVIVAL !!!!!, PLEASURE AND COMFORT. And the most animals died for our 1st INFANTILE pleasure: ORAL GRATIFICATION (food). and comfort: Trees. Good to know there are handful of people on this Earth who are journey in life is more than petty shallow pleasures. Keep up the good work. The LIVING CREATURES (living MIRACLES )are counting on you.

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