On the 47th anniversary of the capture of the orca Lolita, a group of PETA “orcas” are protesting outside the Miami Seaquarium—because outside the Miami Seaquarium is precisely where she should be.
It was 47 years ago today that Lolita was taken from her family in Puget Sound in a traumatic and violent whale hunt—the largest capture of wild orcas in history. Today also marks exactly 37 years since her last tankmate, Hugo, died from injuries sustained when he rammed his head into the tiny tank’s concrete wall in an apparent suicide.
Since 1970, Lolita has been trapped in the smallest orca tank in North America without even protection from the blistering Miami sun.
“At just four times her length and a paltry 20 feet deep, Lolita’s tank is, to her, the size of a bathtub,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.
Lolita is forced to perform up to three times a day for visitors, and since 1980, she has had no contact with any other members of her own species—tantamount to torture for these highly social, family-oriented animals.
PETA, prominent Miamians, and hundreds of thousands of concerned people from around the world are calling for her to be released into a seaside sanctuary that’s waiting for her in her home waters, where she could interact with her family pod, including an orca believed to be her mother, who is still thriving in her 80s.
Help win freedom for Lolita and captive orcas like her by asking Parques Reunidos, the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium and Marineland in Antibes, France, to retire all the orcas to seaside sanctuaries today.