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Legal Efforts to Proceed for Captive Orca Lolita

Written by PETA | April 29, 2013

The National Marine Fisheries Service has found that the information provided in a petition submitted by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the Orca Network may warrant the inclusion of lonely orca Lolita in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of the Southern Resident orcas, the family she was taken from more than 40 years ago.

Orcas are members of the dolphin family. They are also the largest animals held in captivity. In the wild, orcas stay with their mothers for life.

DrTH80 | cc by 2.0

The cruel exclusion from the safeguards against harm and harassment afforded by the ESA has allowed the Miami Seaquarium to hold Lolita in the smallest orca tank in North America without any others of her species for company. The agency will now have nine months to determine whether Lolita’s illegitimate and inexplicable omission from her family’s listing should be reversed.

The decision to review Lolita’s exclusion is an important step toward ensuring that she will finally receive the same protection offered to her family members, which could eventually lead to her being reunited with her pod in the ocean, where her mother still thrives at more than 80 years of age. Otherwise, the government must provide a legally permissible reason why it won’t include her, which it failed to do previously—and which PETA believes doesn’t exist.

How You Can Help

Orcas, dolphins, and other marine mammals belong in the sea, not the Seaquarium. Please never visit any marine park or aquarium where these smart, social, and sensitive animals are held captive.

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  • Amy says:

    A thousand pleases please help set free this lovely dolphin Lolita. She should be set free to roam in the ocean where she belongs.

  • Jen Moore says:

    It’s not too late! She needs to be back in her native waters possibly reuniting with her mother and family! Thank you Shelbie, Howard, Rick and everyone who has worked for years on her retirement, please keep going it will happen! God bless you all and God be with Lolita, Morgan and all the captive orcas and dolphins!

  • Please set Lolita free! Wow! Forty years is a long time to be imprisoned. Lolita deserves to be able to retire and enjoy the rest of her life in freedom. Thank you.

  • Let Lolita into the ocean to reunite with her mother.

  • Please release Lolita to her family.She has been imprisoned for way too long for the entertainment of humans.Go on a whale watching trip so you can appreciate their freedom in their NATURAL environment,Sincerely

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