Endangered Listing Could Lead to Retirement for Lone Orca at Seaquarium

Posted on February 4, 2015

ALDF, PETA Petition Pays Off: Lolita to Gain Protected Status Under Endangered Species Act

For immediate release:

Contact:
David Pearle, ALDF
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF

lolita-CC-LEONARDO-DASILVA-article-image-230pxMIAMI — Ten years after excluding Lolita—the lone orca at Miami Seaquarium—from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) despite covering all other Southern Resident orcas, the National Marine Fisheries Service today announced a rule granting Lolita the same status under the ESA as the rest of her family in the wild. The move comes as the result of a petition by national nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), PETA, Orca Network, and others.

The listing also opens the door to further action, as the groups believe that the conditions in which Lolita is held at Miami Seaquarium—in a tank that’s smaller than even the minimum standard required by federal law, without a companion of her own species for the past 35 years, and without shelter from the blazing sun—violates the ESA’s prohibition on harming and harassing protected animals. PETA plans to push for Lolita to be retired from performing and transferred to a seaside sanctuary that’s waiting for her in her home waters off Washington’s San Juan Islands. If possible, Lolita may even be released back into her family pod. In the wild, Southern Resident orcas often spend their entire lives with their mothers. Lolita recognized her pod’s calls decades after being captured, and her mother—estimated to be about 86 years old—is still thriving.

“The Endangered Species Act should have been applied to this orca ever since it was applied to the rest of her family pod,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “ALDF will keep working to see that she’s given every protection due to her—including freedom from the appalling conditions at the Miami Seaquarium.”

“This orca has been trapped for decades in the tiniest orca tank in North America and, for the past 10 years, deprived of the protection from harm and harassment offered by the Endangered Species Act,” says general counsel to PETA Jeffrey Kerr. “Now that this protection is rightfully hers, PETA will continue to push for her release into the sea, where she belongs.”

For more information, please visit ALDF.org and PETA.org.


13 thoughts on “Endangered Listing Could Lead to Retirement for Lone Orca at Seaquarium

  1. elise lowe-vaughn says:

    Set Lolita free and honor the Endangered Species Act and not big business corporate welfare

    1. Deanna Scearcy says:

      Enigma here!I read your article about this beautiful orca being on the endangered species list and I couldn’t agree with you more. Whether human or animals alike, no one should ever be a guinea pig, subject of study or allowed to be preyed by “predators” which is happening all day and night! At this point, it must be stopped immediately and on a emergency suggestion. This is beyond inhuman and not having the availability, moreover options in seeking help, as well, who to trust while attempting to. This is an extremely sensitive subject, however while knowing that several baby animals, thus children are defenseless 24-7 causing significant emotional duress and a realm of other health risks. Help is needed and more today than ever. … Deanna

  2. Jean McCarthy says:

    This beautiful creature deserves her freedom after 40+ years of horrible captivity – please set her free in a seapen where she might have a chance to rejoin her family.

  3. Nina Paul says:

    Seaquarium, listen up! The world is watching you.
    Do the right thing and free Lolita! She has suffered for long enough.

  4. DIANE M. KASTEL says:

    “The Endangered Species Act should have been applied to this orca ever since it was applied to the rest of her family pod,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “ALDF will keep working to see that she’s given every protection due to her—including freedom from the appalling conditions at the Miami Seaquarium.” WHY WASN’T THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT APPLIED TO LOLITA WHEN HER FAMILY POD WAS GIVEN THE PROTECTION YEARS AGO???

  5. Line Belanger says:

    The only word on This earth for everyone is FREEDOM..Nobody has The Wright too take away

  6. Kay says:

    Yes, the world is watching. Do the right thing and immediately set Lolita free. Stop being so greedy and think about Lolita for a change and what is best for her. You’ve already made plenty of profit off Lolita. Give it up already. You are being watched by millions.

  7. Guy Smith says:

    BOYCOTT EVIL!!!!!
    = BOYCOTT Miami’s SEAQUARIUM Marine ABUSEment Parks!!!!!!!!!!

  8. mary rivas says:

    Set Lolita free. She has earned you more than enough money to purchase her freedom. Do what is right and let this poor Orca live the rest of her life as a free whale. The longer you keep her the more bad publicity you get. Give Lolita her freedom now,.

  9. judy thorpe says:

    Lolita’s mother is 86 years old. Let them reunite before it’s too late. Let her join up with her family pod let her return home back to the sea. The tide is turning for animals in captivity. Return Lolita back into the wild where she belongs.

  10. valda purvis says:

    Please release Lolita -let her be reunited with her family and have some years of freedom and happiness -we don’t need to see animals perform in confined places -we can see them in the beautiful documentaries living their lives in peace and freedom -free her.

  11. Glenita Knapp says:

    Please let her go home she has made the sea aquarium more than enough money The organization needs to donate a lot of money to make up for this slavery.
    Glenita Knapp

  12. Richard Ordonez says:

    The bottom line here is that Lolita needs to be reunited with her family (pod) if that is still possible. At the very least, she should be moved to a sanctuary where she will hopefully have more room to roam and live out her life with dignity and respect.

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