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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.

Commenting is closed.
  • Annette Sloan says:

    All animals like humans have the right to be free release her back into the wild where she is meant to be.

  • Anne Jennings says:

    Free this orca if you have any feelings and do not use the excuse that it is for people to see them they are not seeing them in a natural surrounding it is for you to make money in the marine parks

  • Axel Reusch says:

    Keeping wild animals for entertainment is clearly wrong in the year 2014! Therefore, please free Lolita.
    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way in which its animals are treated.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • Yvonne Lilley says:

    In a civilized society all wild animals should be free, please show compassion and free this poor creature.

  • Anna says:

    Free her, that is the most rational thing to do. It is right and good.

  • Tazia Frank says:

    Bitte Besitzer von Lolita, lassen Sie Lolita frei. Lassen Sie sie spüren, wie Freiheit schmeckt und wie schön es ist, schwimmen zu dürfen und nicht nur Runden drehen im Pool. Lolita hat es sich nach so vielen Jahren Arbeit für Sie verdient, sie frei zu lassen. Das ist ihr verdienter Lohn für ihre Sklavenarbeit.
    Please let her free!!!!!!!

  • S says:

    Free Lolita. To see the suffering of captured animals is no entertainment.

  • Kara Paige says:

    Please,please find it in your hear to set her free. Just try,please try to imagine being born MEANT to swim freely…………..and then being forced to preform in captivation? Let her go.

  • Charlito says:

    As humans we feel we have the right to do with the planet an animals as we wish, most humans are so arrogant, selfish and cruel…how dare we make animals suffer, take them away from their parents and their environment as we see fit. Animals are also citizens of this planet and deserve respect and protection. Just because we can we don’t have to destroy everything around us, like animals and the planet, and that is what we slowly doing.

  • My family and I NEVER visit marine parks and zoo’s. What your doing is discusting and inhumane. FREE LOLITA. The majority has spoken. I will be posting this EVERYWHERE UNTIL LOLITA IS FREE. WHALES BELONG FREE IN THE OCEAN.

  • Free all animals !!! No more meat !!!!

  • Diana says:

    ENOUGH, that’s the ONLY thing you can provide to this beautiful being after making PROFITS of it. Let it BE, let it FREE!

  • Nancy Chambers says:

    Dear Captors: Please allow your wild animals our of your cages. All animals are meant to live free. Making a profit off of these animals is wrong and the world is starting to understand this.

  • Jenny Garcia says:

    Please let this beautiful creature free. She deserves to be with other orcas and live the rest of her life in peace…. Not performing to make people rich. Thank you PETA for your efforts.

  • Cari says:

    These animals are too big, smart, intelligent and emotional to keep them in captivity! No amount of money is worth selling your soul for to keep these animals caged! Those in charge are ignoring what their instincts are telling them!

  • Julie Morris Smith says:

    Please give Lolita her freedom.
    She at least deserves a chance to be happy in her own world.

  • Lolita has to be reunited with her family, all marine mammals belong in the sea. It’s ridiculous that people expect to hold these amazing creatures captive in a Seaquarium. Right this wrong, and bring her back to the ocean to her mommy and family where she should have been this whole time. Orcas have good memory she’ll know where she belongs. Her family are protected, so why is the government making up more excuses? Free Lola already!!!!

  • Delores Deal says:

    Free this animal. These animals should never be in captivity to entertain people. They should be free as we all like to be.

  • Donna Ahr says:


  • Mary says:

    Free her please… What a lonely existence she must have over the almighty dollar!

  • Bridget Snyder says:

    Please let Lolita free!!!

  • Bridget Fagan says:


  • justabrake says:

    Let her go, let her join the others and freedom for once

  • THINK of her capture as if YOU were in prison for LIFE with no hope of release for a “crime” you NEVER COMITTED. UHM, exploting marine life is VERY VERY SAD that they pay the price for your millions of money made at thier demise.

  • Tatiana says:

    Captivity is a crime; a prison which holds innocent victims against their will. No man should have the power to allow this to happen. Set her and all other victimized animals free!

  • Joan Breit says:

    Animals have the right to be free. Do it.

  • Michelle says:

    Be a hero,…be her voice.

  • Sailee Josh says:

    Let Lolita free. It’s cruel and greedy to capture her for so many years.

  • E says:

    Please be an example for others by releasing Lolita. The ocean is a natural marine park!

  • Hazel Booth says:

    Please have compassion for this poor creature and release her from her torture.

  • Jennifer says:

    Please set her free x

  • Diane arnett says:

    Please free Lolita so she live the rest of her life Free!!!!!!!!!!!

  • k bharadva says:


  • Martha says:

    Lolita deserves to retire after 40+ years of performing. Let her go back to her family in the north pacific!

  • Rachel says:

    Set the whales free please!!!

  • Talis says:

    Set this beautiful creature free

  • Dolores says:

    Please do the right thing and free her from her prison

  • Elizabeth McHenry says:

    Separation from family is terrible. Have a heart, miami.

  • T.Mincham says:

    Let Lolita go, 40 years is far to long, we’re supposed to be a civilised world now

  • Christina Gooch says:

    I vote for this “prisoner for entertainment” re: abused wildlife, to be set free! It is sick for this to be ignored.

  • peggy wellman says:

    She deserves to be free

  • Gloria D'Ambrosio says:


  • Matt says:

    What memory of this life will she have if she is never freed? Hatred of humans?

  • Jodi Rodar says:

    It is time to free Lolita. Please find it in your hearts and minds to do the right thing and set Lolita free>

  • Laura says:

    It’s time to free this beautiful girl. Please, look into your hearts instead of focusing on the greed for money that keeps Lolita imprisoned. What the Miama Seaquarium is doing is outright SHAMEFUL. I don’t know how anyone who works for them sleeps at night. FREE LOLITA!!!!!

  • Paoluzka says:

    We need to make conscience about our planet, natural resources and conservation of animals, animals have to be free.

  • Vanessa Reed says:

    Lot’s of people see animals as things but I see a personality. Sure not like humans but they feel love and pain to. Lot’s of people think we are overdoing it or just overreacting, that it’s “just an animal”, but it’s much more. It’s a living creature with feelings. Who are we to torture these poor animals? We are all species on this planet we need to recognize that. Set Lolita free!

  • Laurie Everson says:

    40 years is long enough. Please let Lolita reunite with her family

  • Ryann says:

    Thanks to all the organizations working hard to protect the rights of other beings