Legal Efforts to Proceed for Captive Orca Lolita
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.
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.